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How to help communities affected by Hurricane Idalia

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend region as a category 3 hurricane on Wednesday morning carving a path through the state and leaving behind devastating flooding and damages.

Here are some ways individuals can help with Hurricane Idalia recovery efforts. This list will be updated as additional resources become available.

Port St. Joe High School supply drive — The school is helping organize a supply drive that will take place between now and 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1.

Drop off locations include:

New Horizon Primary Care — 202 W HWY 98

Capital City Bank — 150 Ave A PSJ

PSJHS – front of school at trailer — 100 Shark Dr.

Please call 850-340-0430 with any questions.

Lighthouse Pentecostal Ministries — The church will be accepting donations of supplies or money over the next several days as they prepare to pack a trailer to bring to those affected by the storm in Perry, FL.

The will begin accepting donations of supplies in the Port St. Joe Piggly Wiggly parking lot on Friday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m. EDT.

Those who wish to make a monetary donation can Venmo @Joni-White-12.

United Way of the Big Bend —

Donations are being accepted to assist residents recently affected by the disaster, and through this fund, they will be used to meet the short-term storm-related needs and support the long-term recovery efforts.
Donations to the United Way of the Big Bend Disaster Relief Fund will be used to serve neighbors in the hardest hit areas of the counties United Way serves. To donate to the United Way of the Big Bend Disaster Relief Fund, follow this link: igfn.us/form/OSfK-g or text RELIEF2023 to 41444.

American Red Cross — The national organization has deployed volunteers from across the country to provide on-the-ground support in Florida. Volunteers will help assess damage, distribute meals and supply cleanup kits after the storms have passed. Visit redcross.org to donate or sign up to volunteer.

Samaritan’s Purse — The international nonprofit plans to deploy staff members after Idalia passes. Their volunteer teams will clean up debris, tarp roofs and other home repairs. People can sign up on their website, spvolunteers.org, to be notified when Samaritan’s Purse needs volunteers.

Florida Disaster Fund — Florida’s official private fund supports the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation. Funds are distributed to service organizations providing disaster response and recovery support during and after an emergency or disaster. People can donate by mailing checks or online at volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf.

Project DYNAMO — The Tampa-based nonprofit is gearing up to assist Floridians in need after Idalia, much like the organization supported local communities two years ago following Hurricane Ian. The group also recently brought supplies to people impacted by deadly wildfires in Maui. They are funded entirely by donations, which people can send on its website, projectdynamo.org.

Feeding Tampa Bay — The nonprofit plans to distribute food to the most vulnerable communities impacted by the hurricane. Volunteers will host public food distributions after the storm passes. Its website advises people to check the distribution calendar for updates on cancellations and closures affecting mobile pantries and food services, or sign up for text updates. People can donate to help fund meals, or find food distribution sites, at feedingtampabay.org.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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