Join us in supporting those affected by recent Hurricanes

Photo: Local business Chef Ramoncito drove across the state to feed the community for free.

Dear Friends, 

I’m writing first with care for you and your loved ones – I hope that Hurricane Ian caused you no harm and that you are safe, dry, and sound. A week like this truly is a reminder to hold one another closely. 

We have watched this storm ravage our neighbors, first in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and now on the Gulf Coast. It landed in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest to hit the United States in recent memory. For context, the damage is estimated as meaningfully larger than what we experienced during Hurricane Andrew. The images and messages we’re seeing from our friends and partners are beyond words. There has been a loss of life, and more than 2 million people are without power. Extreme flooding has caused irreparable damage to buildings and infrastructure. While the hurricane touched almost every part of the state, Lee, Sarasota, Collier, and Charlotte counties felt the largest brunt of the impact. 

As South Floridians, we know all too well the destruction of a strong hurricane and what goes into recovering from a storm of that magnitude. When storms and crises have hit Miami, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from across the country. And so, too in this moment, we return that unity back to our neighbors.  

We’re moved by so many from the 305 who are pitching in – Miami-Dade deployed 96 members of Task Force 1 – the heroes of the Surfside tragedy, to help on the west coast of Florida.

When a storm hits Miami, we activate a unified Disaster Resilience Fund with many partners, including the Coral Gables Community Foundation, the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, and others. When a storm hits our neighbors, we identify trusted, locally driven efforts and donate directly to their work. We turn to on-the-ground leaders with local expertise, grassroots organizations that have deep connections with the community, and statewide organizations with extensive experience in disaster recovery mobilization. If you’re interested in joining us, here is where we’re investing at this time: 

For the recovery across Florida, we’re starting with donations to The Collaboratory’s SWFL Emergency Relief Fund and Community Foundation of Sarasota‘s Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund, the latter of which is being matched up to $750,000 thanks to a donation from the Patterson Foundation. Collectively they serve Lee, Collier, Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, and Charlotte counties. We’re also donating to Global Empowerment Mission (GEM)The Smile TrustVolunteer Florida, and Feeding Florida.

For the recovery overseas, we’re supporting several organizations. You can find the lists on our website here

While damage in Miami was limited from Hurricane Ian, we invested proactively in local grassroots efforts to keep residents safe and stock up on preventative supplies. In addition to a round of grants we gave at the start of hurricane season, we followed up this week with investments to Centro CampesinoFriends of Miami GardensMiami Climate AllianceThe Resource RoomSant La Haitian Neighborhood CenterThe Smile TrustWeCount

Every dollar of prevention would cost $6 on the other side of a disaster. To join us in building the proactive resilience muscle of our region, give here.

This was an important fire drill for us here in Miami. As we reach out to support our neighbors, let us remain vigilant about investing in the health and strength of our network of first responders, nonprofit organizations, and grassroots leaders who protect us in times of need and who are now taking on risks to help our friends who have been impacted.

We are proud to stand with you.

Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

President and CEO

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