It's been one month since Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Fort Meyers, Florida. Cleaning up from the devastation left behind continues to be a crippling step for so many Floridians, so TODAY is heading down to help.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, TODAY is teaming up with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit that helps communities clean up and rebuild after natural disasters.
How to help
"At Rebuilding Together, we make essential repairs to help our neighbors stay in their homes. Safe and Healthy Housing is the foundation of our home repair work, targeting significant safety and health hazards to keep our neighbors in the homes and communities they love," Rebuilding Together shared with TODAY.
"We work closely with community residents and leaders to create and execute plans to address some of the needs of each specific community. Through our work, we are also positioned to address the long-term recovery of communities struck by natural disasters. We commit to our neighbors in need and help them rebuild in the months and years following a disaster."
One month after the hurricane hit the area, Al Roker made his way to Fort Myers as part of TODAY’s series “Lend a Hand” to find the helpers in the hurricane aftermath, and it wasn’t hard to miss them.
There, he met with Brett and Jenna Randle, who are helping their neighbors and community sort through paperwork despite losing their home in the hurricane. Al also met Susan Krajewski, whose hair salon was damaged but that doesn’t stop her from collecting donations for the area. And he met Deputy Carl Elie of the Lee County Sheriff’s department, who went viral on TikTok for dancing up to 12 hours a day while directing storm traffic.
“A lot of people rolled down their windows. I saw they had their cameras out,” he told Al. "But they basically told me, of course, it's the first time they smiled.”
On Thursday, Al and Wells Fargo spent the morning celebrating these community members for their efforts. First, Al surprised Deputy Elie with sports equipment for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where the deputy volunteers his time
Wells Fargo also is giving Krajewski the equipment to create a mobile hair salon.
And the Randle family received Legos for their son and new wedding rings after theirs were lost in the hurricane.
On top of that, thousands of first responders received gift cards and Wells Fargo donated $500,000 to Rebuilding Together to help the nonprofit get the community back on its feet.
“ I think everybody would agree with me that we are resilient,” Krajewski said.” We'll come back.”