Hi, I'm "Aunt Janice," Janice Fraser, and I live in San Francisco. But my family lives in Fort Myers, Florida. My mother settled there in 1980, and my sister made Fort Myers and the islands her lifelong home. She was a middle school teacher for more than 25 years, and her husband built many of the mansions on Sanibel and Captiva islands.
My niece and nephew, now adults, built a nice life for themselves -- living in separate apartments a few blocks away from each other in fun little neighborhood in Fort Myers. Mel works as a para-professional, helping autistic kids in elementary school. These are not wealthy people, and they had little savings.
Mel and Tom's neighborhood was devastated by the hurricane, and they both lost everything, including their cars, clothes, household goods.
Everything. Many of the places that make up their memories are gone forever. The church where they sang in youth choir was on Fort Myers Beach, which was leveled.
Tom and Melissa are safe at their parents' house, which thankfully only lost part of its roof. They're without power and water at this point, but they're together.
For my family, this hurricane was devastating. Please donate to help Tom and Melissa get back on their feet. It's going to take a LOT more than $5k, but anything will help. They will use the funds to re-establish their homes, buy transportation so that they can get to work.
I'll get the ball rolling by donating the first $1000.