Caring for the Keys - Official

$14,714 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 174 people in 22 months
As I am sure you are aware, the Florida Keys has been devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irma. It will be upwards of a month+ before power is even restored in most areas and any sense of normalcy returns. Right now they're without electricity, water, sewage, cell service, etc. We are coordinating efforts to collect any and all items to help the Keys as they deal with this disaster- including water, non-perishable food items, toiletries, pet food, etc (full list below). Additonally, we are raising funds to purchase these items if you are unable to make a physical donation. Monetary donations will also be going toward fuel- which is a huge neccessity right now! Any amount helps, as we are also coordinating efforts to have a plane drop off as much of our cargo as possible, so monetary donations are very important! I, Jessica Haim, will be personally withdrawing all donation funds to my personal account to see that all funds go directly towards these items/supplies. 

If you have any questions about these efforts, please do not hesitate to contact us at 407-227-6208 or 305-360-2583.

We are Keys natives looking to help the place we call home. Rest assured, your donations are safe with us and all of it will go directly to relief efforts. Thank you and God bless.. #CaringForTheKeys

List of items needed for donation:
- water and other drinks
- non perishable foods
- toiletries (baby wipes, toothbrushes, soaps etc)
- batteries and flashlights
- dry ice
- pet foods (dogs, cats, birds) and pet supplies such as leashes etc... anything.
- gloves (gardening and latex)
- blankets (small) and sheets - clean but can be used.
- coolers
- empty water jugs and tap water filled jugs
- empty gas cans
- empty propane cans
- baby items and food
- used clean clothing
- bleach
- mops
- packing tape
- individually packaged pain relief meds such as Advil, Tylenol etc
- toilet paper/paper towels
- clean used or new towels and cloths
- sharpies (we are needing to organize, label and box all of these items)
- sponges
- antibacterial kitchen soap
- nets 
- tarps 
- disposable silverware, plates, bowls, cups
- laundry detergent 
- candles, lighters and matches
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Hi Everyone and thank you for your patience and continued support.

I wanted to share a semi-detailed update on finances and how the money has been and will continue to be spent. So many times we donate to good causes but never actually get to see how our money has helped.

We collected a total of $17,509.00

$2,286.41 - supplies that were needed but very few donated such as handsaws, chainsaw oil, tarps, gas cans, can openers, sun-showers, specialty pet food for those with heart problems etc, bird food, and more.

$6,806.48 - transportation to make this effort remotely possible. Uhauls/penske trucks to get everything down, gas and propane that needed to be purchased both for those in need but also for the transportation vehicles, air transport, scales to weigh supplies so the pilots could fly them, etc..

$800 - Gift cards for Samuels House in Key West. Samuel’s House is a 90 day shelter for abused women and children, but due to Irma many mother’s have to extend their stay due to their homes up the keys being destroyed. The houses are completely full as they are housing more women and children free of charge than ever. They are feeding them and providing all housing needs. We gave $500 in gift cards to Publix which will feed all of the families (meats and perishable foods) for 2.5 weeks. We also gave a $300 gift card to K-Mart so they were able to purchase the additional bedding and pillows needed to house more women and children that are stuck without a place to go. A lot of these mothers have been out of work due to Irma so times are especially difficult.

$350 - Additional gift cards to keys residents in need (grocery and restaurants so they are able to get a hot meal if they do not have a working kitchen etc, or are staying in a FEMA supplied hotel room)

GoFundMe Fees - $971.96

Remaining Funds: $6,294.15

#Caringforthekeys is now going to be working to help during phase 3 of the recovery. We ended up actually bringing over 80,000lbs of supplies down once it was all added up. We got to the point where the money could be better spent than on buying more supplies as the donations were incredible.

While the Florida Keys are back in business, the harder hit areas are desperately struggling. Many businesses were destroyed and most are still unable to open. That means thousands of people are without work in the middle keys and many still have no power or a home for that matter. Debris are still piled high on the streets and there simply isn’t enough manpower.

The reason I have given out so few gift cards, etc., is I knew that as time passed less relief would be coming. I also wanted to ensure that the money was WELL SPENT and not just on any cause. There were many organizations helping people but I could see that the money was not needed. Therefore, I have been working diligently to find right ways to help those who are truly struggling. A dollar goes a long way if put in the right hands.

I will be speaking with the Church in Marathon and some other shelters in the middle keys to donate to them as well (more beds, etc.)

Key West High School has created a “needs list” as any kids from Big Pine Key to Key West attend Key West High School, so there are many families sending their kids to school while their homes have been destroyed and their children barely have clothing, let alone money for food, etc.

KWHS has done an excellent job of working direct with the families/parents and even teachers that are having a rough time post Irma. Therefore, we will be fulfilling as many items/gift cards off of that needs list as possible over the coming weeks. Remember, although if these families do have insurance, it will be up to a year before these families see a dollar, and many are without work. So for example, if their refrigerator broke, they have no means of buying a new one. We will be helping in any way we can with the remainder of the funds and any additional donated.

Another thing I would like to help to do is to see how much it is to hire a company from Miami to pay for debris removal from people’s homes, and the main road, etc. to help speed up recovery so people can get back on their feet and back to work quicker. In many cases you cannot even see their storefront or front of their home because there is a 20 foot wall of debris in front of it.

Thank you for all of your contributions, I know the country is not short on catastrophes right now and there are hundreds of ways you can put your money to good use. This effort is so appreciated, and I hope we are able to at least do our part to get a few thousand people helped out of the millions going through crisis between Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, California, Texas, and the Florida Keys.

I ask that you please continue to share this post and our GoFundMe so we are able to help more families over the coming weeks.

Thank you again,
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Thank you all for your continued donations in support of helping the Florida Keys. As I am sure you all know, the road to recovery is a long one. The severity of the first part of the battle for most is only just beginning.

I "budgeted" a fraction of these funds to go towards the first steps in needed recovery items and transport for the initial 60,000 lbs. however, these donations will continue to support those that have lost everything they own throughout the Keys. There are a number of shelters really suffering that are helping to house people who lost their homes or that are uninhabitable. In addition, pet shelters etc are overloaded. I intend to get help to humans and animals alike.

I plan on updating with a transparent view of how the funds have been spent thus far and how the additional funds will continue to be used. However, there was quite a lot of time spent itemizing and collecting receipts etc, so the "accounting part" is taking longer than expected. Over the next week I plan on giving this update so you can see just how much your donation has helped!!

I appreciate your trust in me to use these funds properly to help people who need it most, I will not let you or them, down!

Thank you again.
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$14,714 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 174 people in 22 months
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