Dear Friends,

We would like to start by saying we hope your families stayed safe during and after hurricane Irma. We are deeply grateful to report that our staff and their families survived hurricane Irma without injury, and that our educational campus did not suffer any significant damage.

Our hearts go out to all the families affected by the hurricane. Unfortunately, many of the families in the Golden Gate community we serve are among those that now face life-threatening challenges in the aftermath of this terrible event.

There are many downed trees and power lines. Golden Gate City is without electricity and some streets remain flooded. Collier County faces shortages of fuel, generators, bottled water, and food. The county’s water system has been compromised, a boil water order is in effect until further notice, and the sewer system is not working in some areas. Most businesses remain closed, putting an acute economic strain on the families who depend on them for income and now need to resupply.

These factors, and the extreme heat of our region, are combining to create a dangerous situation, as families face heat exhaustion and heat stroke, dehydration, potential water-borne illness, and hunger with few readily available resources and without the financial means to obtain them.

As an institution our community trusts, we are working to provide families with the knowledge they need to best care for themselves and stay out of danger. We are doing everything in our power to put our campus and staff to work to help relieve our community’s needs in this difficult time, and are currently assessing those needs and determining how to best serve them.

We have begun the work necessary to open our Friday Food Pantry this week, first ensuring that families and volunteers can safely reach the pantry. We will work diligently to support the health and well-being of the families of Golden Gate during their recovery from hurricane Irma, while continuing to meet their educational needs. As ever, we cannot do so without your support.

Please follow the Grace Place page on Facebook for updates. We will be posting information there in the coming hours and days, including volunteer opportunities.

Together we can rebuild a better, stronger community.

In partnership,
Dr. Tim Ferguson, CEO
Grace Place for Children and Families

Learn more about our post-Irma relief efforts.