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Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 19, 2022 – The Glazer family, owners of The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have generously donated $125,000 to support Americares response to Hurricane Ian. The funds will help Americares continue to provide medicine, relief supplies and mental health support in the aftermath of the of Category 4 hurricane, which killed more than 100 people and caused catastrophic damage across southwest Florida.
“The devastation caused by Hurricane Ian is just heart-breaking,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “We are grateful to the Buccaneers and the Glazer family for helping Americares assist the most vulnerable survivors in the hardest hit communities.”
Americares began contacting more than 200 partner organizations serving low-income and marginalized communities across Florida, Georgia and Alabama with offers of assistance before the hurricane made landfall. Once the storm cleared and it was safe to travel, the health-focused relief and development organization deployed an emergency response team to assess needs and coordinate deliveries of critically needed medicines, relief supplies, hygiene kits, tetanus vaccines, bottled water and help health clinics continue operating for survivors. Americares disaster mental health specialists are also on the ground in Punta Gorda, Fla., providing mental health support to health workers who are survivors themselves to ensure they can continue their lifesaving work.
Americares response to Hurricane Ian is focused on supporting those who have the least resources to recover from a major hurricane. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, was severely impacted by the hurricane and has a moderate to high percentage of residents on the CDC’s social vulnerability index. At the same time, about 10 percent of Charlotte and Lee County residents are living in poverty, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Americares approaches all of its work through a lens of health equity and partners with free and charitable clinics and other safety net health and social service providers to increase access to care for people affected by poverty and marginalization due to race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation and other social determinants.
Americares has a long history of responding to emergencies in Florida and the Gulf Coast. The organization has been on the frontlines of recovery efforts following major hurricanes in the region in recent years, including Hurricanes Irma, Dorian and Michael. After Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm that devastated the Florida Panhandle in 2018, Americares delivered 61 shipments of medicines, medical supplies, hygiene products and other relief items and operated a temporary medical clinic in Panama City, Fla., that provided primary care services for more than 800 survivors.
Americares responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Americares relief workers are among the first to respond to emergencies, helping to restore health services for survivors.