Hurricane Ian Has Devastated Southwest Florida: Our Community Needs Your Help

Nonprofit News,

Hurricane Ian has devastated Southwest Florida: Our community needs your help

DOWNLOAD VIDEO LINK: Message from Jeannine Joy, President and CEO, United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 2, 2022) – The damage from Hurricane Ian is staggering, and we are just beginning to understand the immediate and future impact on our community. Many Southwest Floridians have lost everything. Some are entering shelters with only the clothes on their back, while others are mourning the loss of loved ones. There are people in our community and the surrounding areas without food, water, medication and a place to call home.

But as with any tragedy, you can look and find the helpers. So many people have reached out and asked, how can we help? 

United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties, in partnership with the Collaboratory, is asking for the community’s support, not just locally but nationally and globally. The needs are greater than you can imagine, and the resources are limited.

In collaboration with Lee County Government, FEMA and local partner agencies, our priority right now is short-term, immediate needs. We are asking for monetary donations, which will give United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties the flexibility to properly vet and meet families where they are with what they need. Donated funds give much-needed assistance to the victims of Hurricane Ian so families can purchase new, clean clothes and necessary personal essentials. All donations stay local to provide direct support to communities including Pine Island, Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and throughout Lee County.

When you see the photos and video of the aftermath on TV and social media, it’s understandable that people want to give donations of clothes and other personal items. However, the vast majority of goods can be more quickly and efficiently procured to immediately address the current, most urgent needs.

The United Way and the Collaboratory have created an easy-to-use portal for monetary donations. Visit and click the red “Donate” button to contribute to the SWFL Emergency Relief Fund. When you give to United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties, you directly support the victims of Hurricane Ian. Our network of nonprofits is in place and ready to help, and 100% of the funds will support people affected by Hurricane Ian.

While so many have reached out to give physical donations of clothing and personal items, even hosting clothing drives, the United Way is asking you to hold off on those donations for the time being. Once we stabilize, we can start taking physical donations as part of our long-term recovery. For more information, please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades at 239-433-2000 or to volunteer visit

About United Way

United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has raised and distributed almost $200 million since established in 1957.  All money raised in the United Way campaign stays in the local community to help support the local human service network. In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives.

For more information, please call United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades at 239-433-2000 or visit 

Media Contacts

Holly Boldrin, APR, CPRC, Priority Marketing, 239-267-2638, 239-887-9335 (cell) or [email protected]

Teri Hansen, APR, Priority Marketing, 239-267-2638, 239-849-3300 (cell) or [email protected]