This week, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County assembled and distributed buckets full of cleaning and safety supplies to 45 homeowners and roof repair clients who were affected by Hurricane Ian.
It really was a community effort! The buckets and materials were donated by neighbors and local businesses throughout Central Florida. Volunteers who are working toward purchasing their Habitat homes assembled the buckets.
Watch our recap video here:
Local businesses host collection boxes
We asked local businesses to set up collection boxes in their lobby and encourage their employees and clients to donate. Thank you to &Barr, Central Florida Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors, Crosby Wellness Center, and Near North Title Group for answering the call.
Thank you also to Walmart for supplying the gift cards for these 45 buckets.
Lowe’s of West Orlando donates 100 buckets & supplies
One Orlando-based Lowe’s store showed its support by donating safety gear and 100 buckets ready to be filled.
“The safety of our customers and associates who have been impacted by the storm is paramount,” says Lowe’s of West Orlando Store Manager Chuck Brown. “As we all recover from the devastating storm, we encourage other local businesses to join us in support of the work Habitat is leading to keep people safe in their homes.
Future homeowners assemble buckets for homeowners
Four future homeowners helped assemble cleanup buckets at our headquarters for 45 current homeowners and roof repair clients who said they experienced water intrusion from the storm. The next round of buckets will be distributed to Orange and Osceola County residents in need.
Those who want to help with Hurricane Ian relief efforts can drop off donations at nearly a half dozen sites in Central Florida or order from the organization’s Amazon or Walmart wish lists. To learn more or sign up to receive a bucket, visit HabitatOrlandoOsceola.org/bucket
Bucket recipients thank the community
Habitat staffers signed up for routes to deliver the 45 buckets along with a letter from President & CEO Catherine Steck McManus and a Walmart gift card to purchase whatever else they needed.
Here are some of the responses we received:
“Very grateful to receive the Cleanup Bucket Drive. More than cleaning supplies, it is a beautiful and clever gesture of support in a shocking experience, like Hurricane Ian was. God bless all of whom contributed with their gift and loving support. It is the sense of empathy that makes Habitat for Humanity really stand out! Love you all!”
“Thank you very much for bringing to my beautiful home the ‘Cleanup Bucket’ along with the Walmart gift card. I was very moved to see it in front of my door. …Thank you all for being so nice to everyone in need.”
“Awwww your organization is the absolute sweetest!!!! Thank you so much for the cleanup bucket!! I am tearing up! It was so unexpected and thoughtful! I appreciate receiving this random blessing! I am so thankful to even be a thought to Habitat for Humanity. You are the best! It is oftentimes the little things that make the largest impact.”
A larger recovery effort
This bucket initiative is just a small step toward a long-term hurricane recovery response effort by Habitat and its partners.
“Hurricane Ian’s destruction reinforced the need for safe, affordable housing and the need to rebuild with a focus on community health and equity,” said Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County President & CEO Catherine Steck McManus. “I encourage all Floridians who can contribute to donate to our relief efforts and support our neighbors who’ve been impacted by this event.”
Our team has connected with more than 400 homeowner and roof repair clients and we were gratified to learn that the overwhelming majority sustained little to no damage. For those who were impacted, depending on their level of need, we are following up to assist with connections to insurance and FEMA, repairs when possible, and will continue to engage until our homeowners are back on their feet. We’re also connected with Orange County’s Long Term Recovery Group and FEMA volunteers and are offering our ongoing support and expertise when it comes to repairs and rebuilding.
To support our efforts, make a donation here.