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“Every single donation will make a difference”: First Coast leaders push for Irma relief
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“Every single donation will make a difference”: First Coast leaders push for Irma relief

“Every single donation will make a difference”: First Coast leaders push for Irma relief
Photo Credit: St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

“Every single donation will make a difference”: First Coast leaders push for Irma relief

While not everywhere across the First Coast is reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma, the large portions that were hit, were hit hard. 

Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund- which was created after Hurricane Matthew last year- is once again soliciting your donations. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry says 100% of donations go to relief efforts for those affected in Duval, Baker, Clay, Putnam, Nassau, and St. Johns counties. 

“While we dodged the loss of life because of the first responders, there are still a lot of people in this city in a lot of pain for a lot of different reasons right now,” Curry says. 

The Fund will help organizations cover housing, medical costs, food, supplies, repairs, and other immediate and long term needs for those affected by the storm. Any unspent funds will be used to create a permanent disaster relief fund. 

More than $2 million has already been pledged, including $1 million from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jessie Ball duPont Fund trustees committed $250,000, and a $250,000 match. The Lucy Gooding Charitable Trust is giving $200,000. 

The Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville is giving $500,000 to Irma relief, including $250,000 to the Fund. Florida Blue has pledged $1 million for statewide relief efforts, with at least $100,000 for the Fund. 

Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, the Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville, Baptist Health, the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and the United Way of Northeast Florida have also committed more than $300,000 combined. 

Curry says it’s not enough. 

“I want to encourage anyone who can donate to this Fund to help those in need in our communities. There are many people in need, and every single donation will make a difference,” he says. 

Two emergency grants of $100,000 have already been given to each the American Red Cross Northeast Florida Chapter and The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida. 

You can support the Fund by donating online or texting STORM to 50503. 

The Fund is a collaboration between the United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville. 

More than $652,000 was donated to the Fund after Matthew, and about $150,000 was not immediately used, according to the United Way. That money is being immediately applied for Irma relief.

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