One week ago, Hurricane Ian rolled through Central Florida causing widespread power outages, flooding and extensive damage that impacted Lakelanders. One of the greatest parts about this community is how people continually step in and step up to help those in need.
If you’re in a spot where you are asking, “How can I help?” we have you covered with some vetted, trustworthy local organizations to give your time and money to that will make an immediate and lasting impact for Lakelanders and friends.
Volunteer Polk calls itself a “one-stop clearinghouse for volunteers who want to improve their community” and it is well versed in enlisting volunteers for disaster response and clean up. It is connected with the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, and when you sign up to volunteer you can let them know of your availability, preferred location(s) to serve and specific giftings.
One More Child
The Lakeland-based nonprofit meets needs of hungry children, foster children, single moms, victims of sex trafficking and struggling families. Through a financial gift to the Hurricane Ian Relief Fund or by volunteering you can make an immediate impact on recovery efforts at the Lakeland campus and other Florida campuses/offices, including in Ft. Myers and Tampa. The organization also distributes millions of meals each month to local ministries and community partners to get food in the hands of those in need.
United Way of Central Florida and GiveWell Community Foundation
These two non-profit stalwarts are a great connector to trusted community partners who are on the ground doing cleanup and helping people find hope for the future. All donations to the United Community Relief Fund go directly toward helping residents of Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
American Red Cross of Mid-Florida
The American Red Cross has been dedicated to serving people in need for more than 140 years and the organization is funneling resources to meet immediate needs of those impacted by Hurricane Ian. Your financial gift can directly support the local Red Cross chapter or go straight to hurricane relief.
First United Methodist Church of Lakeland
The historic church set on Lake Morton is a clearinghouse for providing necessities that will quickly get in the hands of neighbors most impacted by the Hurricane. Every day through at least October 10 the church is collecting and distributing items including diapers, baby formula, non perishable goods, etc. from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The church is looking for volunteers to work four-hour shifts.