This week, recognizing the immense impact of Hurricane Ian on Floridians across the state, the board of directors of Helios Education Foundation announced a donation of $625,000 to support ongoing relief and recovery efforts.
The donation includes $525,000 for education-related organizations that work directly with students and children, along with an additional $100,000 donation to United Way Florida to support the United 4 Florida Disaster Recovery Fund.
“This intense storm has forever impacted the lives of countless families across the state,” said Vince Roig, the founding chairman of the Helios Education Foundation. “So many communities are experiencing unbelievable challenges. But, at the same time, we’ve seen an overwhelming outpouring of support. Helios was founded on community-first values, and we are honored to be in a position to offer targeted support to our education partners and others across the state and hope to encourage others to do the same.”
For students who have had their lives upended and their education disrupted, the impact can be even more severe and significant. The leadership team at Helios worked to identify organizations and institutions that were in a position to respond immediately to the shifting needs of Floridians and particularly students, educators, and faculty members. The emergency grant funding will go toward faculty and students’ long- and short-term needs, including housing, meals, transportation, replacement of materials damaged in classrooms, counseling, and college attainment resources (applications, graduation, etc.).
“The entire Helios team is immensely grateful to every teacher, faculty member, and education leader who has worked tirelessly to provide comfort and support in the aftermath of such a tragic disaster, and we look forward to continuing to fund opportunities to partner and boost student success across the state,” said Roig.
Helios Education Foundation is providing grants to the following organizations:
United Way of Florida—$100,000
United Way has created the United Way Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to assist local communities meet urgent storm-related needs and support long-term recovery throughout the affected regions.
Consortium of Florida Education Foundations—$150,000
The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations is actively working with local education foundations to offer support, including providing housing assistance for displaced educators and staff, covering the cost of basic necessities for students and their families, and paying for education-related fees for applications, graduations, and activities.
Florida College System—$200,000
This grant to the Florida College System will provide targeted relief and critical resources to five particular colleges whose students experienced significant loss as a result of Hurricane Ian. These funds will be used to assist with housing, transportation, books, childcare needs, and other urgent necessities.
Florida Gulf Coast University—$100,000
Located in Fort Myers, Florida Gulf Coast University was among the most impacted institutions with significant damage both to on-campus facilities and the homes of faculty and students. More than 1,500 students have reported substantial loss and these funds will help provide necessary resources and support.
Take Stock in Students—$50,000
As part of the Take Stock in Children network, Take Stock in Students is in a position to address the immediate and long-term needs of their local affiliates, including those working in the most impacted areas of the state.
University of Central Florida—$25,000
The University of Central Florida and the surrounding communities experienced significant flooding and damage from Hurricane Ian, with the effects touching the lives of thousands of students and faculty members. These funds will help provide resources and support where it is most needed.
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