Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund prepared for hurricane season


Partners of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund are prepared to once again activate the Relief Fund if disaster strikes.

Created in 2016 to aid with Hurricane Matthew relief and to establish a permanent disaster relief fund, Florida's First Coast Relief Fund is a strategic collaboration founded by United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Jewish Federation of Jacksonville and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.

Last year, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund granted more than $3.56 million to 33 Northeast Florida nonprofits providing disaster-relief services. Through this, more than 253,231 individuals and households were served.

“The generosity of our community in that time of crisis — neighbors helping neighbors — was incredible,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida, the fiscal agent and grant manager for the Relief Fund. “We are so thankful for the individuals, corporations and partners who came together to heal Northeast Florida.” 

The Relief Fund supports immediate and intermediate unmet needs. One hundred percent of all donations go to relief efforts. Nearly $3.8 million was raised for Hurricane Irma relief. The Relief Fund’s remaining $200,000 will be available for immediate response for future disasters.

The fund distributes grants only to organizations helping individuals and households impacted by natural disasters in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. The Relief Fund provides resources to meet needs not met by insurance, FEMA or other state and federal programs or to fill the gap while other long-term assistance is being put in place.

After Hurricane Irma, the top three relief needs fell into the following categories: rent and mortgage assistance; home/nonprofit stabilization and repair; and food. All distributions from the Relief Fund are overseen by a committee comprised of representatives of the Relief Fund partners, the City of Jacksonville, Mayo Clinic and the Jaguars Foundation.

For more information on Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund, including the official Hurricane Irma report, visit unitedwaynefl.org/relieffund/reporting.