If you're part of my email or social media communities you've probably heard me talk about a place that holds a special space in my heart – Sanibel Island, Florida. My family found this slice of tropical calm nearly 40 years ago and my parents have called it ‘home' for nearly 25 years. We've celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases and so much more there over the years. When I underwent radiation treatments for a tumor almost 19 years ago, they asked me to visualize a happy place during the treatments – I pictured looking down from my parents' lanai towards my spot near the pool, the palm trees and mangrove leaves rustling in the Florida breeze. I've even taught Mighty Marketing Mojo workshops and run challenges while working at our special spot on Sanibel.
But Hurricane Ian dealt Sanibel, and so much of the Gulf Coast, a very heavy blow recently.
My heart broke not just for my family, our family friends, but for the many hard-working Floridians who lost so much to the devastating storm and its wall of water. So many of the areas deeply affected were home to seniors, fishing communities, retirees who worked a lifetime for a special spot, those who work to support the tourist infrastructure, life-long Floridians – those in mobile homes, cottages, old school Florida bungalows.
I'm not asking for help for my family or those who have other means for recovery but for the very many in this area who lost everything and need our support.
Our family is fortunate in so many ways. My parents were NOT in Florida at the time of the storm, our family house is still standing, the damage is less than we feared, dear friends are helping us even now to save and start rebuilding – we can recover. Sanibel and the Gulf Coast communities will recover – but it will take time and a lot of help.
But many others will have a much harder time recovering. So I wanted to help in some way.
It's pretty simple – you email me a receipt showing you made a donation in any of the suggested amounts, to one of the following charities, and I'll send you a link for a corresponding offer or service for you to claim for free, to help your biz.
After you do that, I have a gift to give you to thank you for helping –
I picked the following charities because they are helping direct action in the local affected areas and have been rated for efficient use of donor funds.
Florida Disaster Fund – Florida's official private fund activated for instances like hurricanes – donations go to Volunteer Florida Foundation – funds distributed to multiple local organizations that assist individuals with disaster response and recovery – can text DISASTER to 20222 to send $10 or choose amounts online
Gulf Coast Community Foundation – Disaster Relief Fund
Helping communities impacted by Hurricane Ian – you can choose this specific fund for immediate relief and long-term rebuilding efforts.
Team Rubicon – their retired, former military members (the Grey Shirts) leverage their experience and skills as they head to disaster sites and do a lot of the hard work that those affected can't do alone. They have ‘muck out' teams onsite in FL as well as Puerto Rico and other sites affected by past and future disasters.
World Central Kitchen – sets up food trucks, emergency kitchens, works with local restaurants and staffs to get people fed. It was one thing when I gave to this amazing cause as they helped people streaming out of Ukraine at the start of the Russian invasion. It's somehow different and even more meaningful when you see a video of their team at the firehouse in the neighborhood where your parents live. They flew in food and water (because there's no bridge right now) for the first responders and helping ongoing rescue and recovery efforts on Sanibel and have pop-up meals and centers throughout SW Florida.
American Red Cross – one of the oldest charities that aid those in need at their roughest times, they're one the ground with food, shelter and more.
If you make a donation in one of these amounts, send me your receipt in an email with Florida Fundraiser in the subject to:
support (at) mightymarketingmojo.com
or to jburke (at) mightymarketingmojo.com
The area is already making progress towards recovery (temporary fixes to the Sanibel Causeway mean more utility trucks, debris haulers, and residents can get back to start work). There's a long way to go.
I'd be so grateful if we can use our collective audiences to share and then lift up this community. I'd love to give away a ton of calls, emails or support to my biz pals if it means we help folks get back on their feet quicker.
I've already received notes from supporters and bi pals. One spent many years in this area and it touches her heart that I'm working to give back to a community she knows well and is still connected to.
Another biz pal retired to the SW FL area just in the past year and were in the path of Ian- they're ok but they will be part of the rebuilding process. She sent me this note …
“I just wanted to thank you for your donation efforts and to say that I have personally seen 3 of your chosen charities in action down here (either set up at recovery centers, etc. or on the road) and have seen one on TV helping. The Foundation gives behind the scenes, so overall you have chosen wisely!
Update: I've had an up-close interaction! A Red Cross Disaster Recovery vehicle came through our park last night delivering prepared dinners to us all – and it was yummy! “ 😊
Thank you in advance for anything you choose to do to help those in need – now and in the future.