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Thousand of sheets handed out by non-profit to help rebuild on Fort Myers Beach

drywall giveaway FMB
Posted at 3:23 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 19:59:30-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — On Tuesday, drywall and mattresses were two things the non-profit, Global Empowerment Mission said people need down on Fort Myers Beach.

Patrick Lynch, the Chief Development Officer and organizer of the giveaway told Fox 4, its materials the community clearly needs.

“You would think drywall is a simple material that anyone can get anywhere, everyone here needs drywall,” said Lynch.

On Tuesday, Lynch said volunteers handed out 7,000 sheets of drywall to people living down on Fort Myers Beach.

Al DePalo, who has called FMB home for over 45 years, says at least one of the items will help him as he rebuilds.

“The drywall is definitely useful, the mattresses, I'm not too sure about,” said DePalo.

DePalo said like many of his neighbors, the inside of his home needs some major work.

“The whole inside is gutted, completely, there is nothing in there but studs right now,” said DePalo.

A need and reality that Lynch said he recognized within minutes of arriving.

“Walls are missing roofs are caved in and debris is everywhere around us and here we are almost half a year after the storm, this isn't going away soon,” said Lynch.

On Tuesday, Lynch said donations were collected in part by Rotary International out of South-East Florida, an organization that’s dealt with hurricanes on its own coast.

“When my district got hit by Dorian a few years ago the Bahamas were wiped out, they came through big time for us,” said Michael Kesti, the District Governor for Rotary District 6990.

So, this time around, piece by piece volunteers were helping families like DePalo's rebuild on the gulf coast.

“I know all the people that were sitting in that line for 2 hours are going to be thankful when they get to their house and realize what they just got,” said DePalo.