On September 10th, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall in The Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane. Irma left The Florida Keys with flooded streets, damaged buildings and roadways, neighborhoods without power and general debris.
The news always tells you how to prepare for an incoming hurricane but cannot always offer insights on how to recover from the storm. Right now, Key West is in recovery mode. There is a lot of clean up and repair that needs to be done to return our beloved islands to their original condition but our passion and love for the area will fuel us to work hard to restore our home.
As you hear more and more about the Florida Keys condition after Irma you may wonder how can you help. We’ve outlined a few ways that you can make a positive impact on the Keys Community.
When a natural disaster strikes, our first instinct is to donate food and goods to those in need. If you have any extra water or hurricane supplies at your home, considering donating to the relief effort. Also, think about little items that are easy to forget like toiletries, diapers, pet food, bug spray, fans and sunscreen.
Once you’ve collected your items, next you must locate your nearest relief organization. We recommend reaching out and confirming there is a need for those good. After confirming, pack and labels your goods and drop them off at your organization of choice. If you have some time, also consider staying and lending a hand.
While donating supplies is a great way to help the recovery efforts, Monroe County stated they preferred cash donations. Their Facebook post on September 18th, excerpt below, explains why.
“While residents of the Florida Keys are grateful for the outpouring of donations of clothing, food and other items from across the U.S., the hurricane relief response team is having to dedicate scarce resources to processing and storing these goods. At this time, they are requesting that those wanting to assist with the relief effort make cash donations to established relief organizations. These donations will help agencies purchase precisely what the community needs. Cash donations also reduce the logistical requirements that come with donated goods.”
With that in mind, Key West Aloe is collecting donations for Hurricane Irma Relief. All proceeds will be donated to United Way of The Florida Keys’ Irma Relief Fund. 100% of the donations raised will be distributed to smaller nonprofits throughout Monroe County who may not have the capacity to generate their own funds. Visit our website to learn more and to donate.
Sometimes, all that’s needed is a helping hand. We’ve listed multiple ways you can donate your time by volunteering. We will do our best to keep this list current.
Volunteer Florida is a statewide volunteer agency helping organize local volunteers in Monroe County. You can register online or call the county’s Citizen Information Hotline at 800-995-5505.
OneBlood is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood. Find a Big Red Bus® or a donation center and schedule your appointment today.
The Salvation Army will have various opportunities for you to volunteer your time.
If none of the above options are possible, consider sharing this post or other recover efforts with your friends and family. The more people aware, the more opportunities for help become available.
Carol Shaughnessy from Keys Voices said it best in her recent post, “Irma might have battered the Keys’ landscape, but the storm couldn’t touch the island chain’s greatest asset and greatest strength: the tough, independent, creative, warmhearted spirit of its people.”
Together, we can rebuild The Florida Keys. Thank you in advance for your support!
For more information about the Keys Recovery efforts, please visit keysrecovery.org.