Churches in Florida are continuing their recovery efforts six months after Hurricane Ian slammed into the state last September bringing catastrophic damage and destruction. According to the Christian Standard, churches are still collecting donations and volunteers are continuing to help families in need of assistance as they try to rebuild their lives and homes.
Gary Cox, the teaching pastor at First Christian Church in Fort Myers, described the hurricane as “the worst destruction he’d seen from a storm during his three decades in Fort Myers.” He explained that while some have made great progress recovering from the damage, others are still waiting for electricity to be restored or for their homes to be fixed. While they wait for FEMA, insurance companies, or contractors to get things going, volunteers from First Christian Church are doing what they can to help.
Churches and individuals across the country have donated nearly $300,000 to help Floridians with recovery efforts. One woman whom Cox recently met shared that as a waitress she lost two jobs after the hurricane damaged the restaurants where she worked. Cox gave the woman information about seeking help from First Christian Church, which she did, and afterwards received a check for $2,000.
First Christian Church is not only providing financial assistance to Floridians in need of help, but they are giving them a chance to care for their health as well. Many people fear that mold-related illnesses may increase as mold in homes from water damage can cause sickness. In response to this concern, the church is hosting a free mold clinic twice a week to treat people who have mold-related illnesses.
Other churches that continue to volunteer include New Day Christian Church which is hosting the International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES), as well as Crosspoint Christian Church and Miamisburg Christian Church which have partnered to refurbish bedrooms for kids.
Cox shared that those who have received assistance describe it as “a ray of hope.” Many people do not know where to go for help as relief and recovery donations seem to dwindle down after months have gone by in the wake of a disaster. Still, churches who remain committed to helping those in Florida are reminding them of the power of faith to overcome challenges with the compassion and care of others.