There’s still time to give! Let’s feed 1,000 more children together! Just $30 can feed 5 kiddos for 1 whole month. Will you join us?

There’s still time to give! Let’s feed 1,000 more children together! Just $30 can feed 5 kiddos for 1 whole month.
Will you join us?


HOH Stories

When Hope Is All You Have: Helping the Victims of Hurricane Ian

- by Abigail Fuller 4 MIN READ

The damage was unimaginable. For the residents of Fort Myers, Florida, and the surrounding areas, Hurricane Ian left a trail of devastation in September of 2022.

“The first thing I saw…was just trees and water everywhere,” Kayla Sheridan said when she came back to their Port Charlotte home. “I was walking in the water, and it was past my waist. Wires everywhere and big branches everywhere—it was dangerous.”

For so many displaced families, returning to their neighborhoods was a new kind of trauma. They were left with nothing: their houses damaged or destroyed, their belongings moldering, and nowhere to turn for relief or help.

That is, until a very welcome sight appeared on the scene—when you showed up, offering help and hope. You may not have been there physically, but when relief came through Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions, you, our amazing partners, were there with your love and support, making it all possible!

Together, we were able to team up with Mercy Chefs to help provide over 200,000 hot meals. In partnership with God’s Pit Crew, we also helped distribute nearly 10,000 5-gallon Blessing Buckets filled with food, bottled water, emergency items, a Bible, and a Joyce Meyer book filled with encouragement. And through our partnership with Eight Days of Hope, we helped more than 200 families with clean-up assistance and debris removal from their flooded and damaged homes.

A Fresh Start

“Honestly, I was just fearing for my life…” Kailey said, remembering her harrowing experience when she and her two young children rode out the storm at home.

Her husband, Edwin, a local police officer, was on duty during the storm. He had prepared for the hurricane and thought that his wife and children would be safe. “Every time she called me there was something new,” Edwin recalled. “The shutters coming off, [and]…there's water pouring out.”

With a severely damaged house, Edwin and Kailey weren’t sure where to turn. But through your generous support, Hand of Hope, in conjunction with CoastLife Church, was able to provide money to meet their insurance deductible and gift cards to buy groceries and replace their damaged belongings.

“We just really appreciate that you guys were able to assist with this,” said Kailey. “It has made a huge impact not only on our family but this whole community.”

Edwin and Kailey are just some of the 15,000 people we reached through our partnership with CoastLife—helping families to literally pick up the pieces and start fresh.

The Vigus family was another family you helped. Normally, Danielle and her sons, Aidan and Nathan, stay in their home and ride out a storm. Not this time. When they returned, there was a waterline around the walls of their house—two and a half feet high. Everything that touched the ground was ruined, including all of their clothing.

Amidst their crisis, we were able to provide them with gift cards so they could buy clothes and other necessities. They also found a new home to rent, and thanks to you, they were able to furnish it.

“The support from everyone has been amazing,” Aiden said. “I know something bad happened, but through it, there's just been blessing after blessing.” 

Expecting Nothing—Receiving Everything

Maria Sheridan has been through her share of trauma. Having lost not only her husband but also a child just a few years later, she is no stranger to tragedy. So, when Hurricane Ian struck her home, Maria was at a loss again. After the storm, her daughter, Kayla, said, “I got to see all my stuff, my room and…everything was gone.”

Hand of Hope, partnering with God’s Pit Crew, stepped in with more than 40 volunteers who worked for 12 days to repair the destruction to Maria’s home—which is now completely restored and fully furnished.

“I always say, God’s going to take care [of us] no matter what,” Maria said, wiping away tears of joy. “It’s like, God’s showing me, ‘I’m here.’ Thank you so much for everything…It’s beautiful. We’re very excited! We’re going to be enjoying [it], I promise!”

There was no way to tell how devastating Hurricane Ian would be, but thanks to friends like you and all of our amazing partnering organizations, together, we have made a difference in the lives of families just like these…and so many more.

Hand of Hope