United Way establishes Recovery Distribution Program with PODS sites for families impacted by Hurricane Ian

To help expedite recovery following Hurricane Ian, United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has established a Recovery Distribution Program with PODS container locations set up around Lee County.

Through its Gifts in Kind Program, United Way has partnered with PODS, Lee County government and local social service agencies to distribute new furniture and home goods to people impacted by Hurricane Ian. The PODS containers will be replenished weekly with items including furniture, mattresses, bed frames and bedding for distribution to families in need.

The PODS containers are set up in areas of Lee County that were hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. Lee County residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Ian are invited to call their nearest location to be vetted and to schedule an appointment with the POD Manager to retrieve items. Appointments are required (walk-ups are not permitted). Scheduled recipients must bring an appropriate vehicle to transport the items and enough people to physically move them.

Please call the contact provided below for the location nearest you to schedule an appointment:

Pine Island: Beacon of Hope – Nancy (239-283-5123)
Sanibel: FISH of Sanibel-Captiva – Manuela (239-472-4775)
Fort Myers Beach: Beach Baptist Church – Mallie (239-314-4745)
Harlem Heights: United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades – Daisy (239-433-7579)
South Fort Myers: Jewish Federation of Lee & Charlotte Counties – Rosemery (239-691-7910)
San Carlos Park: Eva’s Closet – Jessica (239-339-3216)
Bonita Springs: Bonita Springs Assistance Office – Teri (239-992-3034)
Fort Myers/Dunbar/Tice: Catholic Charities – Arlene (239-334-4007 ext. 2100)
North Fort Myers: Suncoast Community Center – Jenny (239-731-9838)
Cape Coral: coming soon

PODS Moving & Storage donated five of the PODS containers, valued at $15,000, at no cost to help in the recovery efforts. Each POD will remain on site until June 2023 to serve as an efficient and effective way to get necessary items distributed. Individuals receiving items will be responsible for scheduling pickup directly with the distribution site, and for arranging the moving and delivery of furniture and other supplies to their home.

“We are grateful to PODS for their generous gift that will help us expedite recovery for so many families.  This program gives our residents easy access to furnishings and other household items to replace items lost as a result of the hurricane,” said Jeannine Joy, president and CEO, United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades. “Additionally, we are so appreciative of the generous donations of new items from businesses near and far.”

Matter Brothers Furniture & Mattress of Fort Myers partnered with the United Way to provide more than 300 mattresses and beds to be distributed with the help of Tempur Sealy and Hooker Furniture.

“At Matter Brothers, our family and our entire company are committed to supporting the recovery of Southwest Florida,” said John Matter, president of Matter Brothers. “After the hurricane, we leaned into our vendor partnerships for their assistance, and both Tempur Sealy and Hooker with both quick to respond with generous support. It feels especially good to be able to provide a good night’s sleep for those who lost everything, and we will continue to support the long-term recovery in partnership with United Way.”

Tempur Sealy quickly responded with donations to support Matter Brothers, United Way and those directly impacted by Hurricane Ian.

“Tempur Sealy is proud to partner with local community and business leaders to support those families impacted by Hurricane Ian. Our mattress donation program helps deliver on our Company purpose of ‘improving the sleep of more people, every night, all around the world,'” said Steve Russing, Executive Vice President of Sales for Tempur Sealy. “Our team will continue to support these communities through the recovery efforts ahead.”

For more information about the Recovery Distribution Program, please visit UnitedWayLee.org/rdp.

United Way and Collaboratory continue to raise money for Hurricane Ian relief through their joint SWFL Emergency Relief Fund. To donate, please visit UnitedWayLee.org/Hurricane-Ian-Relief-Fund.  

Those seeking additional support can dial United Way’s 211 line; a free, 24-hour helpline that connects people with human and social service agencies in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties. Additional information and resources related to Lee County’s Hurricane Ian response can be found at LeeGov.com/Storm.

About United Way

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies, helping them to work together focusing on issues that continue to improve lives. United Way is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people in our community.  United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades was established in 1957 and over $210 million has been raised and distributed since that time. For more information, please call 239-433-2000 or visit UnitedWayLee.org.

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This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.