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Sanibel nonprofit says they are still in 'full recovery mode' six months after Hurricane Ian

FISH of Sanibel Captiva
Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-28 19:17:58-04

SANIBEL, Fla. — After Hurricane Ian, it took Sanibel Island months to reopen to the public.

Six months later, the people who call the island home said local help is what has kept them moving forward.

On Tuesday, nonprofits like Fish of Sanibel-Captiva Inc. (FISH) said they still need more volunteers to match the demand for supplies.

“Six months and we are still in full-blown recovery mode, ” said FISH Executive Director Maria Espinoza.

On Tuesday, Espinoza said they put a call out on Facebook for volunteers to help unload a semi-truck full of supplies.

“It takes a village to build back the community that once was,” said Espinoza.

A community filled with people like Mark, who said he still needed supplies and said the people have come to depend on organizations like fish during tough times.

“If you wanted to eat, if you wanted something to drink, you came to people like this,” said Mark.

Hard times that Mark says many have witnessed as the little barrier island continues to rebuild.

“A lot of owners are back, a lot of owners getting their houses back, condos still really bad,” said Mark.

A variety of changes that Espinoza said had continued to reshape how the organization helps the community.

“ For some that might mean distributing another bike because they have been using it solely for transportation but for others we are doing drywall distribution furniture and as well as just bringing back what they once had,” said Espinoza.

Fox 4 reported on the non-profit's bike drive back in January, click here.

Espinoza said bringing back what the community once had, includes events like their Easter holiday giveaway.

“ It's morning day and night trying to piece things back together and whatever we can do for the community to get that back we are going to do and happy to continue to do,” said Espinoza.