Hurricane Ian: Here’s how you can help Florida victims

Casey DeSantis, the wife of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, announced Wednesday that a state charitable effort was activated to help victims of Hurricane Ian, which slammed into southwest Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm.

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The Volunteer Florida Foundation, a charitable organization that pledged to use only $30,000 to cover administrative costs, activated The Florida Disaster Fund, WPLG-TV reported. People can donate directly to help people affected by the hurricane, Florida’s first lady said in a statement.

The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s official private fund, established to provide financial assistance to communities affected in times of emergency or disaster.

“The governor and I are thankful for the graciousness of those looking to assist Florida’s communities in their time of need,” Casey DeSantis said in a news release about the public-private partnership. “I am pleased to announce that Volunteer Florida has activated the Florida Disaster Fund so that people can donate directly to those affected by Hurricane Ian. We greatly appreciate the kindness and generosity of organizations and individuals from across the country looking to support Floridians. Thank you.”

Josie Tamayo, the chief executive officer for Volunteer Florida, said the foundation was committed to helping victims.

“When a disaster strikes our great state, Volunteer Florida is committed to help provide relief where it is most needed. We channel every available dollar to work towards rebuilding and recovery efforts in our affected communities,” Tamayo said in a statement. “The Florida Disaster Fund is an excellent way for the private sector and individuals to financially support Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian.”

Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax deductible. Persons wishing to contribute online can visit FloridaDisasterFund.org or text DISASTER to 20222. The organization also accepts checks, which can be mailed to:

Volunteer Florida Foundation

Attention: Florida Disaster Fund

1545 Raymond Diehl Road

Suite 250

Tallahassee, FL 32308

Checks should include “Florida Disaster Fund” in the memo line.

Here are some other ways to help:

The Red Cross

You can donate to Hurricane Ian relief through the Red Cross by calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or texting the word IAN to 90999.

The Salvation Army

You can donate online or by calling 800-SAL-ARMY (800-725-2769).

Children’s Emergency Fund

The Children’s Emergency fund, organized by Save the Children, donates child-focused items to kids preparing for and recovering from disasters. Donations can be made through the organization’s website.

Project HOPE

Project HOPE has a response team in Florida prepared with medicine, water and other supplies, according to the charity. It accepts donations through its website.

Global Giving

Global Giving has started a Hurricane Ian Relief Fund and is accepting donations here.