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AARP Foundation, AARP Florida Working With North Florida Elder Care Groups to Help 50-Plus Hurricane Michael Survivors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 29, 2019

CONTACT:  Dave Bruns, 850.228.2759, dbruns@aarp.org

hurricane michael
TALLAHASSEE – AARP Foundation and AARP Florida announced Monday that 11 North Florida organizations have received $905,000 to benefit Floridians 50-plus who were hard hit by Hurricane Michael in October 2018.

Ten grants of $75,000 each went to elder-care organizations in the storm-affected area of the eastern Panhandle. An additional grant of $155,000 went to Legal Services of North Florida to assist older storm-related survivors.  Grant funds came from donations to AARP Foundation from contributors nationwide in a fundraising initiative immediately after the storm. AARP Foundation, the charitable arm of AARP, matched these donations dollar for dollar to double the benefit to older Floridians.

These elder-care organizations each received $75,000 grants:

  • All Hands and Hearts
  • The Area Agency on Aging for North Florida
  • Bay County Council on Aging
  • Calhoun County Senior Citizens Association, Inc.
  • Liberty County Senior Citizens Association, Inc.
  • Gulf County Senior Citizens Association
  • Jackson County Senior Citizens Org, Inc.
  • Habitat of Bay County
  • Chipola Area Habitat.

“At AARP Foundation, we understand how devastating natural disasters can be for vulnerable older Americans,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of AARP Foundation.  “These funds will help local organizations address the immediate needs of low-income seniors, as well as supporting long-term recovery efforts in the area. We especially appreciate the role AARP Florida played in helping us identify organizations providing on-the-ground support.”

“Hurricane Michael’s winds only affected the Panhandle for a day, but full recovery is going to take years or longer,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida state director.
“AARP Florida will be with the 50-plus of North Florida every step of their journey back.”

Although the storm struck the Panhandle more than three months ago, many thousands of Panhandle residents still have not received government benefits or private insurance settlements.

“Thousands of older North Florida residents are still struggling, unable to afford deposits they must pay to start repairs, rebuild homes and return to a normal life,” Johnson said.

Elder-care organizations plan to use the funds to provide mini-grants that will help older Floridians afford to start making home repairs or meeting other needs arising from the storm.

AARP Foundation also made donations to organizations in communities in Georgia that were affected by Hurricane Michael.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit  www.aarp.org  or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Bolstered by vigorous legal advocacy, we spark bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope.  

About AARP Florida
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