Fort Myers: “Our entire community is wiped out”

FORT MYERS BEACH – Damaged homes and debris are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Support working families affected by Hurricane Ian

Dear friends,

The unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricane Ian’s lethal combination of rain, wind, and record storm surge has left coastal communities of Southwest Florida in shambles, with countless families losing everything they have and far too many losing their loved ones. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and pain felt across the state right now. As the death toll continues to rise – alongside emerging questions about the leadership decisions that contributed to the storm’s catastrophic consequences to life and property for thousands of people – the coastal communities near us are only just beginning to pick up the pieces. 

Here in Immokalee, we were incredibly fortunate to be largely spared by Ian’s wrath. We want to thank everyone who has so kindly reached out to check on CIW and our broader community – your thoughts and support have been deeply moving and much appreciated.  Today, as our own staff and Immokalee family heads out to support in the distribution of urgently-needed goods, we want to urge everyone to join us in mobilizing immediate relief efforts for our neighbors, friends and family members in areas that faced truly unprecedented loss and devastation.

We are partnering with Father Patrick O’Connor of Jesus the Worker Parish, based in Fort Myers, Florida, to ensure families in need receive essential supplies during these desperate times. Father Patrick, a longstanding faith leader in the CIW’s movement for Fair Food, is a trusted community leader who is dedicated to serving and seeking justice for poor, immigrant families. Father Patrick’s Church is located at the heart of a vibrant Latino community in Fort Myers that was absolutely devastated by Hurricane Ian and where many residents — many of them indigenous Mayan immigrants from Guatemala — were struggling to make ends meet even before the storm. 

If you’re looking for a tangible way to help families in need after Hurricane Ian, here’s what you can do today to make an impact. Send along any of the following materials to Jesus the Worker, 881 Nuna Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905: 

  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Cleaning supplies  

You can also make a donation here, as a team of CIW staff and volunteers are working to coordinate supply purchases and helping with distribution to affected communities. 

If you have the means and resources to organize a large shipment of materials, please get in touch with us at so we can keep track of details and logistics with you. And if you’re in the area and would like to volunteer with distribution of goods in Fort Myers once materials arrive, please contact Yaissy at  

Thank you for doing your part in helping communities in Southwest Florida rebuild after Hurricane Ian.