GPIA, with support from 44 volunteers, assisted 210 Hurricane Ian survivors in May and the month showed a lot of growth and progress for Pine Island.
We participated in many rebuilding projects as well as strategic planning sessions for future preparedness. GPIA representatives attended the Lee County Un-LTRG governing board meeting as well as the strategic planning meeting for Lee County. GPIA is also working to establish long-term volunteer housing on Pine Island.
Here are some of our activity highlights:
- Members of the GPIA collaborated with the Matlacha Hookers to host the Pine Island Elementary fishing derby, a special event focused on giving children a normal island activity that has not been readily available to many due to the damage and debris in the waterways. 100 children participated.
- We’ve built and delivered 42 temporary storage containers between February and May — including 21 in May alone — through our partnership with Pathfinder Mission. Additional funding support for this project has come from the GPIA and the Matlacha Hookers; other project partners are Project Hope and the American Legion. We currently have 14 requests for these storage solutions with more coming in every day.
- Household mold remediation is ongoing.
- We worked with Pine Island Community Church, Hope Church (Boston), Kiwanis and LGI to assist with the rebuilding of Kiwanis Park in St. James City. This included the rebuild as well as donating mulch and a sun shade.
- GPIA has partnered with the Matlacha-Pine Island Fire Control District and the Pine Island Water Association to strategize a better preparedness and response plan for future emergencies.
- GPIA received its first distribution from a capacity-building grant funded by the American Red Cross ($3,250). The funds will be used to pay for contract support from Vetted Communications LLC for development of the organization’s communications infrastructure, website rebuild and organizational planning.
- We’ve received material goods donations from the Rotary Club that we will organize and distribute.
- We’ve met with students from Delaware University. The students want to volunteer to help us research and write grants for additional funding support for the island’s recovery.
- The GPIA Board confirmed Dave Connor as our new treasurer.