Today’s awards support Florida teachers and local community churches to help with recovery efforts

CHIEFLAND, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million in awards through the Florida Disaster Fund to support Florida families recovering from Hurricane Idalia. The Florida Disaster Fund has raised over $3.7 million to date, for Hurricane Idalia relief. To donate, click here. Today’s awards will support teachers in Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor counties; volunteer organizations that are actively participating in response efforts and local community churches. The Governor made the announcement while attending one of the first Friday night football games in the area following Hurricane Idalia, between Chiefland Middle-High School and Suwannee High School.

“The Florida Disaster Fund allows us to cut through red-tape and get funds into the hands of these organizations quickly,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our teachers, volunteer organizations, and churches have done a great job helping the community recover, and I am glad we can support them with these awards.”

“The Florida Disaster Fund helps us go beyond government to help with hurricane recovery,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Through today’s awards, we are supporting whole communities in getting back on their feet, back to work and back to a sense of normalcy. We will continue to award these funds to support the rebuilding of impacted communities and I encourage anyone looking for a way to help, to donate to the Florida Disaster Fund.”

Awards are as follows:

  • $700,000 was awarded to seven education foundations to support impacted teachers.
    • $100,000 to Dixie Education Foundation, Inc.
    • $100,000 to Hamilton County Public Schools Foundation
    • $100,000 to Lafayette Penny Foundation
    • $100,000 to Levy County Schools Foundation
    • $100,000 to Madison County Foundation for Excellence in Education
    • $100,000 to Suwannee Education Foundation
    • $100,000 to Taylor County Education Foundation
  • $700,000 was awarded to support charitable organizations assisting in disaster response efforts including:
    • Adventist Community Services
    • Cajun Navy Ground Force
    • Catholic Charities
    • Convoy of Hope
    • Feeding Florida
    • Florida Baptist Convention Disaster Relief
    • Florida State Animal Response Coalition
    • Mercy Chefs
    • Operation BBQ Relief
    • Salvation Army
    • Second Harvest of the Big Bend
    • Team Rubicon
    • ToolBank USA
    • Florida Methodist Church Disaster Relief
  • $200,000 was awarded to local community churches that were impacted by the storm. Providing funds to these institutions is imperative to ensure a sense of normalcy is brought back to the area through the faith community. Funds will be used to support traditional community support services or to enable churches to reopen and hold services while they await long-term repairs and applicable reimbursements.

To see a full list of donors and awardees, click here.


Donations made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation are tax-deductible. Donations may be made by visiting, or by mail to the below address. Checks should be made payable to the Volunteer Florida Foundation and should include “Florida Disaster Fund” in the memo line.


Volunteer Florida Foundation
Attention: Florida Disaster Fund
1545 Raymond Diehl Road Suite 250
Tallahassee, FL 32308

Volunteer Florida is the state’s lead agency for volunteerism and community service. Established in 1994 as the Florida Commission on Community Service, Volunteer Florida promotes volunteerism and community service throughout the state, administers national service programs, and coordinates disaster recovery efforts in impacted communities.




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