East Tennessee charities help Florida recover from Hurricane Ian

East Tennessee charities help Florida recover from Hurricane Ian

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – A little more than a month after Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, some people are still without a home and basic living supplies, like food and water. A couple of East Tennessee charities are sending some much needed help.

Chuck Smith, the pastor at Broadway Community Church in Fort Myers, said some people just got electricity back.

“We took a generator to a lady the other day and she just broke down, and just said it saved her life,” said Pastor Smith.

Broadway Community Church is playing a key role in distributing supplies. The church’s gym is filled with donations like water, shoes, and other supplies.

“We received a huge truck load from a realtor up in Minnesota,” Pastor Smith said. “We received a truck load from a church out in Dallas, Texas.”

Compassion Ministries and Second Harvest Foodbank of East Tennessee teamed up to send two trucks full of non-perishable foods, and paper products to Florida. One of those trucks will go right to Broadway Community Church.

“Everything I told him, that we were sending, he said, ‘hey Robin, we haven’t got that yet,’” said Robin Rolland, Executive Director for Compassion Ministries.

Rolland estimated they sent around $75,000 of supplies to Florida, including more than 40,000 pounds of food.

“We had high hopes and East Tennessee always shows up,” Rolland said.

Those donations do help in a big way. Smith estimated that the donations from the East Tennessee charities alone will help hundreds, if not thousands, of families.

The truck full of supplies was expected to arrive at the church on Thursday. The second truck is headed for Port Charlotte, Florida, another hard-hit spot on the coast.

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