My dear friend Jes and her partner Andy lost their home when Hurricane Ian tore through Sanibel Island and Southwestern Florida last Wednesday, leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake.
Most importantly – Jes, Andy, their families and pets are all safe. Jes was able to get herself and Lulah, her sweet golden retriever, off the island ahead of the storm. Andy, Buster the cat, and Andy’s dad were all evacuated over the past few days. However, they have lost their houses, Andy’s car, their storage units, and everything inside. As they begin the long process of relocating, rebuilding, and fully assessing the damages, they could use any help their loving community has to offer. While in the long run they know they will be okay, and are in better shape than many, Jes and Andy are facing a number of enormous expenses in the immediate future, before any compensation will come through from insurance companies.
Jes and Andy are the first people to step up for others, to rally community members around friends in need – phone trees, meal trains, ride shares and emotional support. She even positioned herself as a shuttle service for Sanibel residents as they were evacuated off the island, making sure they could get safely to their onshore destinations. Now it is our turn to rally around them.
The support and encouragement they have received from friends has been incredibly uplifting and is appreciated beyond words. It may take a bit of time for them to get back to everyone individually, but please know that they feel your warmth.
Many of you (and to be honest – the three of us!) are skeptical of these online fundraising pages, and of asking for help when so many others are in similarly dire need. If you would feel more comfortable gifting to Jes & Andy directly, you can send via Venmo: @Andrew-Willis-65
Donations raised here will be used for their immediate expenses and basic necessities – purchasing clothing, food, pet supplies, etc., and helping with their costs as they set up a new home. If there are still any funds remaining once they are back on their feet, they plan to donate to an organization supporting the local worker economies of Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Thank you all for your love, your well-wishes, and any support you are able to give!