Florida’s first lady asks for donations to help Hurricane Ian victims

Casey DeSantis, Florida's first lady, is asking anyone who wants to help Hurricane Ian's victims to contribute to The Florida Disaster Fund. (Governor's Office)

MIAMI – Florida first lady Casey DeSantis announced Wednesday there was a state charitable effort underway to help victims of Hurricane Ian.

The Volunteer Florida Foundation, a charitable organization promising to only use $30,000 to cover administrative costs, activated The Florida Disaster Fund, a public-private partnership.

“We are very appreciative and thankful for the outpouring of support,” the first lady said on Thursday adding donations had surpassed $10 million.

The list of corporate donors included Walmart with a donation of $1.5 million and Amazon, Florida Blue, and Lennar with $1 million each. She also thanked Tom Brady for helping to promote the fund.

Josie Tamayo, Volunteer Florida’s chief executive officer, released a statement saying the foundation was committed to helping victims.

“We channel every available dollar to work towards rebuilding and recovery efforts in our affected communities,” Tamayo said.

To contribute to the effort, visit this page, or text DISASTER to 20222, or mail a check to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, at 1545 Raymond Diehl Road, Suite 250, Tallahassee, FL 32308. For more information about the fund or how to volunteer, call 1-850-414-7400 or info@volunteerflorida.org.

“These private sector contributions will be deployed quickly and effectively to meet the immediate needs of those most impacted by the storm, Casey DeSantis said.

Here is a list of donations:

o Walmart: $1.5 million

o Amazon: $1 million

o Centene Charitable Foundation: $1 million

o Ian MacKechnie: $1 million

o Florida Blue: $1 million

o Lennar: $1 million

o Boeing: $750,000

o Publix: $500,000

o TECO: $500,000

o Simply Healthcare: $350,000

o AirBnb: $250,000

o Wells Fargo: $250,000

o Verizon: $125,000

o CVS: $100,000

o Duke Energy: $100,000

o Goldman Sachs: $100,000

o Rumble: $100,000

o Florida Power and Light: $50,000

o National Christian Foundation: $50,000

o PGA Tour: $25,000

o Horne: $25,000

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While Hurricane Ian’s effects forced the Key West International Airport in Monroe County to close Wednesday, officials decided to keep Miami and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airports open.

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About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.