When Hurricane Ian hit, members of Lutheran Services Florida’s Palm Beach County Head Start team went into action doing everything they could to support families who were in desperate need of help.
When they received an “all clear” after the storm, the Head Start staff took a ride to Ft. Myers to check on family members’ property. They were able to clean up the debris from blown-out roofs and walls, and they turned off circuit breakers to ensure everyone was safe and electricity returned.
In some homes, they opened the windows for circulation to prevent mold from growing, and then they emptied the refrigerators and left the doors open so everything could air out. Team members emptied garbage pails to prevent water from accumulating, and then sent pictures of the damage to the families so they could forward the images to their insurance companies to file claims.
Members of the facilities team worked tirelessly at the schools during the weekend to assure parents and guardians that their children would be returning to an environment that was clean and safe. Then directors, teachers, coaches, and supervisors created a checklist of activities and breathing techniques that families could do at home during the stressful times ahead.
“We show up and get the job done as a team,” says Julian Serrano, the LSF Head Start Director for Palm Beach County. “Regardless of the circumstances, we can show up and get the job done with good humor and a can-do attitude.”
There is still work to be done to help families recover from the damage and loss they’ve endured over the past few weeks. And while the media shifts its focus to other events, many residents will still be left picking up the pieces. But we have not forgotten them, and LSF is determined to show them they still have our support.
To help those who are still putting the pieces together after Hurricane Ian, please consider donating to our Hurricane Relief Fund at LSFNET.ORG/IAN.