TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The community of Bonita Springs is rallying around each other as recovery efforts continue following Hurricane Ian.

People have lost everything in the area, from cars, homes and boats.

Others have lost businesses they have worked hard to built up, including the Green Cup Cafe, started two years ago, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“2022 was our year, we’ve been thriving and striving had a great community of regulars and people that came to our restaurant and unfortunately, Mr. Ian came by and turned it a little upside down,” Robby Podgorski, the owner, said.

A rapid surge of water flooded in to the business, destroying equipment and spoiling food.

“It literally looked like the ocean went in there and just undulated everything. Thousand pound refrigerators of food just knocked over,” he said.

The business owner also lost his home.

“Along with our home. We lost our home during the storm. We lost all of of our cars and to see the community rally behind us in this way, outside of losing everything, this is the best week of my life,” Podgorski said. “To see this type of love happening in our community. I can’t even get over it.”

Those who showed up to help clean up the damage only know each other from the store. Podgorski said he put out a post on social media asking for a little bit of help.

“We said, ‘if you have the time, you are more than welcome to just show up and help’ and today, they showed up in force,” he said.

Katerina Friday decided to help.

“We’re such a tight knit community, nobody can just sit home…. We can just sit home and be sad or action and turn sadness into love,” she said.

After a day of hard work in the muck and slime, Podgorski started to see the impossible, as possible.

“I showed up today and thought I’d have 3 or 4 people and to see the level of love that we got, that all my tears are almost replaced by smiles,” he said.