AmeriCorps CEO Tours Hurricane Ian Recovery and National Service Projects in Florida
Michael D. Smith and Florida leaders joined FEMA Corps, NCCC and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams in Fort Myers, Fla.
WASHINGTON, DC- AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith visited Fort Myers, Fla. to meet with national service leaders, see the impact of national service programs supporting communities affected by Hurricane Ian and hear from AmeriCorps members and alumni.
On Monday, Jan. 23, Smith joined an AmeriCorps NCCC team serving with Inspiritus, a nonprofit organization focused on guiding individuals and families who have experienced disruption on a path from surviving to thriving. Smith visited the home of a US Navy veteran whose home is currently being mucked and gutted by AmeriCorps members after it was damaged during Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Smith also presented the President’s Volunteer Service Awarded to Philip DeRitis.
Smith then met with FEMA Corps teams supporting hazard mitigation, individual assistance, and other services for the Fort Myers community. FEMA Corps members discussed their direct support to FEMA and how that supports services to disaster survivors and disaster-affected communities.
He ended the day at an AmeriCorps-hosted roundtable with AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps Senior volunteers and staff serving with Dr. Piper Center for Social Services and SBP who discussed their early response contributions in the first days after Hurricane Ian.
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Smith started his day with AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams where he presented the President's Volunteer Service Award to Monica Lopez and gave remarks about the value of hurricane recovery services. Smith and Harlem Heights Foundation leadership visited a neighborhood where AmeriCorps staff and members have been supporting Adventures in Missions and ReBuilding Together with home repairs. A local homeowner shared their Hurricane Ian response and recovery experience and discussed the challenges this underserved neighborhood faces in long-term recovery. Smith concluded his trip with service where he helped AmeriCorps teams pull nails, scrape floors and cut drywall.
Each year, more than 9,200 Americans of all ages and backgrounds unite to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and expand opportunity at more than 1,300 locations in Florida. Last year, AmeriCorps invested more than $44.3 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions, working hand-in-hand with local partners to empower individuals to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.