Two days before Hurricane Irma swept past our region, Gulf Coast Community Foundation activated our Gulf Coast Disaster Fund to help prepare for the worst.
While our region was spared the destruction that other communities in Florida suffered, there was significant damage and disruption here in our Gulf Coast communities. We also anticipate long-term needs among those families that already lived on the financial edge before the storm.
As soon as our office was back up and running, Gulf Coast reached out to our nonprofit partners to assess their immediate and anticipated needs. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the vision of our Board of Directors, Gulf Coast has begun issuing emergency grants to local nonprofit organizations for Hurricane Irma relief.
Below is a list of our Hurricane Irma relief grants, which will be updated as new ones are made. Funding comes from donor contributions to the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund as well as our Community Health Endowment Fund.
All Faiths Food Bank - $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food and water distribution and logistics support
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice - $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund to distribute food, water, and household cleaning kits
Education Foundation of Sarasota County - $5,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for classroom restoration and supply replenishment in schools used as emergency shelters
Harvest House - $10,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund for clean-up of supportive and affordable housing properties, hurricane supplies for clients, and lost rent
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of the Suncoast - $4,700 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food and rehousing
Laurel Civic Association – $10,000 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for food assistance and temporary lodging for affected residents in the Laurel community
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - $2,500 from the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund for storm recovery supplies and materials
Pines of Sarasota Foundation - $10,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund to help restore air conditioning to buildings in the Pines of Sarasota senior-care community
Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation - $5,000 from the Community Health Endowment Fund for patient needs and special-needs shelter
The Gulf Coast Disaster Fund is designated to support immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Irma. Gulf Coast awards grants from it to nonprofit organizations doing critical relief work to ensure residents can resume their daily lives and recovery work to return stability to individuals and families and rebuild our region's economy.
To contribute to the Gulf Coast Disaster Fund, go here. All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of contributions will go toward hurricane relief or recovery.