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Suncoast organizations aid victims of Hurricane Ian

WWSB Tampa 12/6/2022 ABC7 Staff
Goodwill Manasota and United Way of South Sarasota County help Hurricane Ian victims © Provided by WWSB Tampa Goodwill Manasota and United Way of South Sarasota County help Hurricane Ian victims

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Goodwill Manasota and United Way of South Sarasota County partnered together, with the help of other organizations, to help over 2,500 families affected by Hurricane Ian. The organizations gave out voucher packets including a $100 gas gift card, a $100 grocery gift card, and a $50 Goodwill gift card.

“What this does is it provides hope. When they come in and they get these vouchers you can literally see the relief on their faces,” said Barbara Cruz, the CEO of United Way of South Sarasota County.

Cruz said residents struggling are fast approaching the long-term rebuilding phase and still need assistance.

“Now we’re moving toward that mid to long-term recovery. How are folks going to get the resources they need to rebuild?” asked Cruz. “We can be a gateway for them to get those resources.”

Goodwill Manasota also gave out around 1,000 additional vouchers just for Goodwill. What CEO of Goodwill Manasota, Donn Githens, estimates to be around $75,000 worth of vouchers helping more than just those in North Port, Englewood, Venice, and other areas significantly impacted.

“Over two hundred and fifty children were able to get something, to get back to that somewhat new normal as you work through the recovery process,” said Githens. “We see the vouchers coming into our stories every day and thanking us.”

The voucher packages were made possible through a donation on behalf of the Milstein family. There were a total of 14 other partners that helped make this possible.

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