Helios Education Foundation provides $625K for Hurricane Ian relief
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Hurricane disaster relief
Most of the money will go toward aiding students, educators and faculty impacted by the storm.

The Helios Education Foundation is donating $625,000 for Hurricane Ian relief efforts, its board of directors announced Wednesday.

Of that, $525,000 will go to education-related organizations that work directly with students and children. The other $100,000 will go toward United Way of Florida to support its United 4 Florida Disaster Recovery Fund.

“This intense storm has forever impacted the lives of countless families across the state,” Helios Education Foundation Founding Chairman Vince Roig said.

“So many communities are experiencing unbelievable challenges. But, at the same time, we’ve seen an overwhelming outpouring of support. Helios was founded on community-first values, and we are honored to be in a position to offer targeted support to our education partners and others across the state and hope to encourage others to do the same.”

The leadership team at Helios worked to identify organizations and institutions that were in a position to respond immediately to the shifting needs of Floridians, particularly students, educators, and faculty members. Funding will aid faculty and students’ long- and short-term needs, including housing, meals, transportation, replacement of materials damaged in classrooms, counseling, and college attainment resources.

“The entire Helios team is immensely grateful to every teacher, faculty member, and education leader who has worked tirelessly to provide comfort and support in the aftermath of such a tragic disaster, and we look forward to continuing to fund opportunities to partner and boost student success across the state,” Roig added.

Of the education portion of the aid, Helios is providing $150,000 to the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, which works with local education foundations to support housing assistance efforts for displaced educators and staff and provide financial assistance for basic necessities for students and their families. The funding will also aid in paying education-related fees for applications, graduations and activities.

The Florida College System will receive $200,000 to provide targeted relief and critical resources to five colleges whose students experienced significant loss as a result of Hurricane Ian. The funds will be used for housing, transportation, books, child care and other urgent necessities. 

The grant will also provide $100,000 for Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, one of the higher learning institutions in Florida that suffered the worst damage from Ian. More than 1,500 students at the school have reported substantial losses and the funds will help provide resources and support to those students. 

Take Stock in Students, part of the Take Stock in Children Network, will receive $50,000 to address the immediate and long-term needs of local affiliates. 

Additionally, the University of Central Florida will receive $25,000 to provide resources and support where it is needed the most. Central Florida sustained significant flooding as Hurricane Ian moved inland, affecting thousands of students and faculty members.

Staff Reports

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