Heart of Florida United Way opens Hurricane Ian assistance for Orlando area – Orlando Sentinel

The Heart of Florida United Way is offering $300 Walmart e-gift cards for households who faced financial loss from work closures, property damage or food loss because of Hurricane Ian.

Much of Central Florida is still picking up the pieces following damaging winds and torrential downpours, which left streets and neighborhoods throughout the region underwater. Some are still battling floodwaters or have evacuated homes, while others are assessing damage.

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Residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties who are 18 years or older can apply for aid at www.hfuw.org/hurricaneian, according to a news release. At the time of publication, the application portal was closed, which will happen periodically to allow applications to be processed, the agency said.

It will reopen as long as money is available, the release states.

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“Our goal is to help as many families as possible as quickly as possible,” said Jeff Hayward, president and CEO, in an emailed statement. “We know thousands of families were living on the brink of financial chaos before Hurricane Ian. For nearly 50% of the households in Central Florida, losing a day’s wages or a refrigerator of groceries can be devastating.”

The gift cards come from United Way’s hurricane relief fund, which received $958,000 in donations from the DeVos Family Foundation and Dr. Phillips Charities, as well as corporate donors such as Lockheed Martin and Fairwinds Credit Union, the release states.

You can donate to the fund at www.hfuw.org/recoveryfund-donate.

rygillespie@orlandosentinel.com

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