TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After Hurricane Ian hit the coast of southwest Florida and moved up across the state, people all over came together to help those impacted by the storm.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, which made landfall on Sept. 28 as a Category 4 hurricane, WFLA and our parent company Nexstar teamed up with the American Red Cross in Florida to help with relief efforts. Earlier this month, WFLA also hosted an 8 On Your Side Hurricane Ian Relief Telethon.
Viewers donated more than $320,000 to that fund to help the families in Florida who need it most after Ian. To add to that total, WFLA and Nexstar donated an additional $25,000. That brings the total donated to $345,000.
WFLA Anchor Keith Cate presented the $25,000 check, signed by General Manager Mark Higgins, to representatives of the American Red Cross live on air Wednesday evening. Eric Corliss, the regional CEO, explained what that money will go toward.
“The 25,000 funds one of our emergency response vehicles and all the associated costs for three days, bringing meals and cleanup supplies to those that are in the heaviest-hit areas,” he said. “Still today, we’re feeding across the state from Daytona down to Fort Myers, distributing emergency relief supplies and providing shelter for those that cannot go home.”
Ela Landegger, the Tampa Bay chapter board chair, said it’s incredible being able to provide relief and assistance to Hurricane Ian victims.
“You see people who had homes and are suddenly homeless and, as a Red Crosser, when you come down the street, they flock out of their homes and suddenly you become a superhero to somebody,” she said. “So volunteering is an incredibly gratifying moment, especially when you can help people and alleviate them – their lives in that moment.”
WFLA and the Red Cross would like to thank all of our viewers for their generous contributions to hurricane victims.