SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Several South Florida organizations came together to collect necessary supplies for Hurricane Ian survivors.
On Monday morning, a drop-off site opened in Sweetwater at Dolphin Mall on the east valet area, between Friday’s and P.F. Chang’s, for the public to leave donations for the Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief Drive.
The donations will be collected until 10 p.m.
Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez teamed up with Mobile Mike to collect all sorts of items for those affected on the west coast of Florida.
“We dodged a bullet here in South Florida, and we got to help our partners on the west coast,” said Lopez.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, and I’ve been doing humanitarian relief efforts for 35 years now,” said Michael Breden, better known as Mobile Mike.
The media company recently returned from Fort Myers with video footage of the damage caused by the storm.
“There’s no words to describe the pain over there,” said Breden. “They really don’t have the supplies that they need.”
He plans to go back on Friday to distribute the items donated.
Lopez and many law enforcement officers teamed up to gather all the items to be collected in the upcoming days.
The supplies collected will go to Fort Myers and the surrounding areas in dire need of basic necessities, and they will not accept clothing or used items. All donated items must be boxed and labeled for them to be accepted.
“This could have been us, so the fact that we can come together as a community and do what we’re doing is a blessing,” said Breden.
Generous hearts are showing up for perfect strangers.
“The way we feel is we’d like someone to do that for us if that were to happen in Miami,” said Isabel Alvarez.
This location will be set up Tuesday, as well, for those wanting to donate.
“There is people that are almost dying, almost dying because they need something,” said Edith Izquierdo, who donated items, “and I feel inside of my heart and that is helping.”
Helping people who need basic necessities the most.
Many other organizations put those supplies together to send them to Southwest Florida.
“We’re sending generators, we are sending pallets of canned beans, disaster blankets,” said Jisabelle Garcia-Pedroso, Food for the Poor’s director of Programs and Operations.
FFTP, located in Coconut Creek, is shipping the items immediately.
“We are listening into these daily coordination calls with other NGOs,” said Garcia-Pedroso. “We’re able to see the needs, what are people asking for. Cash is always best. It allows us to really meet the needs of those that are hurting.”
In Hialeah Gardens, they are collecting water and non-perishable foods and other items. If you would like to make a donation, they are collecting them at the Police Department through Friday.
More agencies are heading to the west coast in order to help with the aftermath, including the Fraternal Order of Police’s Disaster Area Response Team.
For those in Broward County, The Shops at Pembroke Gardens will open for donations on Wednesday and Thursday, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., in a designated area.
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