Volunteer Florida announces new round of hurricane relief aid grants

By Laurie Davison, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 09, 2018, 10:22 PM EST

Volunteer Florida has announced the second round of Florida Disaster Fund grant recipients for organizations helping victims of Hurricane Irma.

  • Volunteer Florida has raised more than $15 million for hurricane relief
  • Emergency workers estimate long term recovery at 3-5 years
  • Funds will go to helping storm victims pay rent, mortgage, provide food

Volunteer Florida said the latest grants total $1.21 million, and organizations will receive between $5,000 and $75,000 each.

The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church is one of the groups that will receive grant money.

"It will be huge," said Pam Garrison with the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. "One of the things we're known for is helping communities transition from response to recovery, so while we're still in that response phase, this money is going to help us do the things we need to do to help the community transition."

A few examples of services provided by some of the organizations that are receiving funding include helping people pay rent, mortgage, utilities, providing food, clothing and replacing household items, doing home repairs and providing counseling for people experiencing psychological distress.

Feeding Tampa Bay is another agency that will receive some of the grant money.

"You know people may have been doing fine before Irma, getting by month to month, but if they have damage to their home or lost all of the food in their pantry, they may not have had that extra money to go out and replace that food or repair their home," said Feeding Tampa Bay spokesperson Jayci Peters.

Emergency workers said this is not a "quick fix." They estimate the long term recovery could take 3 to 5 years.

To date, Volunteer Florida has raised more than $15 million dollars to support those impacted by Hurricane Irma.