Courtesy Let's Help! Englewood and Englewood Chamber of Commerce

Southwest Florida communities are well versed in weather related challenges. We harden our houses, we trim our trees, we stock supplies, we evacuate or hunker down. Hours or days later we emerge or return, we clean up, we reconnect, and we get back to school, work or retirement activities.

We rebuild…our lives, our homes and community. Nature regroups too … the skies vivid blue with flora budding with new vigor, birds flocking and butterflies flitting … fish safely nestled in protected habitats emerging.

The aftermath of hurricane Irma making landfall here on September 10, 2017 was the fuel of mobilization for “Let’s Help! Englewood," the first local outreach of the newly formed Englewood Community Services Inc. Revenue losses due to business interruptions were born by many, and weekly paychecks were diminished or put on hiatus for loyal employees and their families, many of whom had no safety net. Recognizing that any ding in income could pose insurmountable deficits for basic life necessities, local businesses and residents reached in their pockets to donate to neighbors to help them pay some of their bills. Regular every day stuff like shelter, transportation, food, daycare, utilities.

Fast forward from September to October 2017 (yes, one month), as another “challenge” had been brewing offshore, again making landfall here albeit in a less dramatic and definable magnitude. Several dead cormorants, known as the canary in the coal mines for red tides (as they are far ranging birds that feed along the shores of the Gulf Coast), were autopsied to confirm red tide poisoning. Now fast forward to August of 2018 (yes, ten months), and the cumulative toll of this historically significant “weather, or climate, or naturally occurring, or nutrient feeding frenzy ” is devastating not only our treasured sea life, but once again impeding our businesses and residents to economically endure.

Heartbroken as we are to have treasured dolphins, turtles and fish wash up on our shores, the science to remediate toxic algae blooms for our marine friends are left to the scientists and marine specialists. As we as a community assist in daily cleanup and communicate air and water quality, we are also cognizant of the local businesses’ shortfalls and their employees’ reduced income.

Let’s Help ! – Englewood” Local Outreach for Red Tide Relief 2018 wants to extend a life ring to those who need to float on a current financial responsibility or two. We encourage every citizen to explore the following tabs here to learn about funding eligibility (simple) and fill out an application (short and sweet).

We encourage donations of any amount from the private sector, non-profit organizations, business and civic associations and we certainly hope some of our governmental entities. Don’t have a budget for this kind of expenditure? Have a fundraiser, an event, a jar on the counter of your business, you are only limited by your creativity and will to help others. Think outside of the box and inside the life ring!

We are Englewood proud! We are Englewood strong! We are Englewood united!

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES AT www.800helpfla.com OR BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Florida Registration #CH53008

Click for funding details.