Oklahomans Step Up To Help With Hurricane Ian Recovery Efforts


Sunday, October 2nd 2022, 9:22 pm



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Thousands of people in Florida and the Carolinas are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Ian devastated the region.

Even though Hurricane Ian hit over a thousand miles away, many Oklahomans say they felt called to help.

Hope Herrera lives in Broken Arrow now but grew up in Southwest Florida.

She has spent the past few days collecting donations to drive down to people in her hometown of Fort Myers.

"I can't go and cut down trees that have been blown over, and stack wood piles,” said Herrera. “But this is something I could do where I am, and I mean, that community was my life for 20 plus years."

Other groups, like the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, are sending crews out to help clean up damage for homeowners who might not be able to afford it.

"We go in as volunteer teams to help gut out that house, clean all the mud and clean all the debris out, take the sheetrock and insulation out,” said Sam Porter with the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. “That normally costs $15-20,000. We do that at no charge."

The American Red Cross also sent out volunteers who will spend the next couple of weeks helping serve meals and with recovery efforts like mental health counseling.

“Especially after this disaster like what they're having right now, they certainly need all the help,” said Jeff Hoover, a volunteer from Las Cruces, New Mexico. “And it's amazing the kindness that all of these companies and all of these care centers and these large corporate people.”

Herrera hopes other Oklahomans will find ways they can help, either from home or on the ground.

"Well I think so often when we hear of tragedies that happen far away, we have this thought of 'well, what can I do?'” said Herrera. “And this is something that we can do."

If you are interested in helping with the hurricane recovery efforts, you can visit the following pages:

American Red Cross: 

The Salvation Army USA: 

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief:

If you are interested in donating to Herrera’s drive, you can email her at thehopeherrera@gmail.com for more information.

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