At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced awards totaling $4 million to support residents of Southwest Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian, as well as a new partnership with the Home Depot to support rebuilding efforts in the state.
At San Carlos Park Elementary, DeSantis announced $2 million has been awarded to support local education foundations in six school districts hardest hit by the storm. Foundations receiving awards will use those funds to help teachers who have been displaced or experienced difficulties as a result of Hurricane Ian.
Local Education Foundations in the following counties will receive awards:
Lee County will receive $500,000
Charlotte County will receive $350,000
Sarasota County will receive $350,000
Collier County will receive $350,000
DeSoto County will receive $225,000
Hardee County will receive $225,000
In Sarasota, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced $2 million has been awarded from the Florida Disaster Fund to five organizations helping residents repair and rebuild their homes. First Lady DeSantis also announced Florida’s new partnership with the Home Depot, which has committed to providing an at cost rates on select rebuild supplies to these five organizations.
Organizations receiving funding to support rebuilding efforts are:
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Lee BIA Builders Care
“Our Southwest Florida schools have been able to reopen in record time, and that would not have been possible without the dedicated teachers and staff at our schools,” said Gov. DeSantis. “Many of these teachers have also been impacted by Hurricane Ian and continue to make sacrifices just to get to school. If you don’t have teachers, you don’t have a school, and through these awards we are providing some relief to those who give so much to our students.”
“We are excited to supplement the efforts of non-profits that are on the ground helping Floridians navigate the challenges of rebuilding following Hurricane Ian,” said First Lady DeSantis. “By harnessing the charitable contributions of the private sector and thousands of generous Americans who have donated, we are providing real help to Floridians in need. I’m grateful for The Home Depot’s partnership to help these awarded funds go as far as possible to support Florida’s communities as they recover and rebuild.”
“I am proud that Florida is providing additional support for our teachers who live and work in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ian,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz. “These funds will not only assist with rebuilding efforts for our hard-working teachers and staff, but also ensure students continue to receive a high-quality education in a safe and secure environment.”
“Thanks to First Lady Casey DeSantis, the Florida Disaster Fund was immediately available as Hurricane Ian began impacting Southwest Florida and is helping to fill the gap where other recovery resources may not reach,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “I am proud of local organizations helping to get our communities get back on their feet, and we continue to encourage our private sector partners looking to support recovery to donate to the Florida Disaster Fund to keep the momentum going.”
The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and are tax-deductible.
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