Helping our community rebound from Hurricane Ian with resilience.
On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida's suncoast as a dangerous, high-end Category 4 storm. Ian throttled swaths of the four-county region our Community Foundation serves, with high winds, heavy rainfall, and a staggering storm surge that caused flooding throughout the region.
Ian's estimated $50 billion damage included entire roads and bridges that crumpled upon impact, and thousands of homes that were destroyed, as well as businesses, schools, cultural centers and coastline. Along with the dismantling of so many structures and natural features, the lives of everyone who lived through Ian were impacted.
The Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund was activated to address these long-lasting impacts on people's lives, anticipating the needs that will emerge beyond emergency relief.
Along with the dismantling of so many structures and natural features, the lives of everyone who lived through Ian were impacted. Complete recovery will take a strategic, collaborative effort over time.
Successful recovery will support individuals and families to be able to rebound from their losses and sustain their well-being, and restore structures, systems, and services.
The purpose of the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund is to support and benefit Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties for disaster recovery to improve individual, family, and community resiliency, helping people rebuild their lives beyond initial rebuilding of structures. Complete recovery--restoring our community to its full potential, while also creating processes to better protect us from such catastrophe in the future--will take a strategic, collaborative effort over time.
Successful recovery will support individuals and families to be able to rebound from their losses and sustain their physical, social, economic, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, and restore structures, systems, and services, as well as address sources of inequitable and unjust outcomes.
Particular emphasis will be given to listening to those most impacted with losses, understanding community needs, and assessing community damage. We will collaborate with government and school officials, funders, community leaders and nonprofit partners to build a cohesive approach that prioritizes needs that help our people, systems and services rebound with resilience.
Strategic long-term recovery relies on many factors. Our Community Foundation will work with school boards, government agencies, nonprofit partners and disaster recovery experts to learn where needs are and understand how best to meet them.
The first step to this approach is a Disaster Response Analysis, which examines the anatomy of the disaster life cycle, history of disaster and response, identification of conventional responders and supports, typical gaps in those supports, and more. A strategic approach depends upon patience, transparent communication and collaboration, thorough research, and the willingness to be flexible. Thoughtful and deliberate recovery takes time to implement, and it also stands the test of time.
Read the Disaster Response Analysis to learn the details of this methodology that determines how funding will be allocated.
Hurricane Ian flooded the house of Kayla Yenna, here with her daughters, forcing her to find a new place to live. Photo: Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Of course, a disaster like Ian also requires immediate response. Many people have endured damage to their homes and faced disruptions in work, which has forced them to navigate the double-crisis of unanticipated expenses coupled with diminished income. Our region has experienced a seismic uptick in those needing help with basic living expenses, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, and child care.
For these acute needs, Season of Sharing has been a relied upon source of relief for 22 years. Some who have been displaced have already sought Season of Sharing support--its flexibility and expeditious nature have made it a time-tested, trusted social safety net since 2000. In the wake of Ian, acute need is high. Season of Sharing has helped people get past immediate setbacks to regain stability for more than two decades.
The Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund was created in partnership with The Patterson Foundation, which seeded the fund with $500,000 and offered matching gifts up to $750,000, which was quickly fulfilled and inspired other matching gifts for a total of $1.25 million. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation.
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the impact through seed money and matching funds.
How to Donate
If you'd like to support either the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund or the Season of Sharing, there are many ways to do it. Donate online here.
Donate by Mail
Mail your check – payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County (please indicate county designation on memo line) – to:
Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund
c/o Community Foundation of Sarasota County
2635 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL 34237
Donate by Phone