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Madelyn Lazorchak, Communications Writer09/30/2022

NeighborWorks network organizations are working hard on the ground, helping communities recover from two back-to-back historic storms that have left behind a wake of power outages, flooding and damage.
In Puerto Rico, responses to Hurricane Fiona, which dumped 30 inches of rain on the island, included dispersing backpacks with emergency relief supplies for residents from Puerto Rico NHS, which also has a fundraising page. Ponce NHS delivered lunches to Guaraguao, one of the hardest hit areas. They have also set up a page for donations and a collection center to receive donations. PathStone,
Staff from Ponce prepare to deliver food to residents in need. Photo/Ponce
meanwhile, has created a community laundry in Guayama in collaboration with First Baptist Church, serving more than 100 families a week. They've also supported a community kitchen and provided generators, refrigerators and mattresses to families in Guayama and set up an emergency fund. As of this week, thousands in Puerto Rico were still without running water. 
In Florida, the effects of Hurricane Ian continue – as do the power outages in its wake. On Friday, the death toll was still uncertain as NeighborWorks network organizations assessed damages of a storm that has been said could be the deadliest in Florida’s history.
After disasters like these, nonprofits often have an important role to play. To support their efforts, NeighborWorks America responded by offering $1.5 million in grants to organizations that have been working to help their stricken communities.
Bags of food stand ready to go at Ponce. Photo/Ponce
Christie Cade, vice president of NeighborWorks America's Southern Region, says there are reports of flooding and damage in communities served by Rural Neighborhoods, Inc., Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation and CDC of Tampa. As the hurricane moved north, Origins, in Charleston, South Carolina, shut down operations and prepared for the storm.
"The sad reality behind Hurricane Fiona is that our network organizations working in Puerto Rico have become accustomed to disasters," says Joanie Straussman Brandon, NeighborWorks America’s Northeast regional vice president. "They have learned the very hard way due to Hurricane Maria five years ago and the earthquakes the following year."
Cade says the same is true in the South. "The Southern Region is no stranger to natural disasters and the catastrophic effects that hurricanes can leave behind. The Florida NeighborWorks network members have led the way in response, resourcing and rebuilding communities to remain strong and resilient. NeighborWorks will continue to stand with them and support their efforts on the ground."

NeighborWorks network organizations are helping one another, too. La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark, New Jersey, started a fund for hurricane relief. The first recipient will be Ponce NHS to help with the purchase of generators, gasoline and supplies to flooded towns and villages.
Following are some resources for both community development staff and families:


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