Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

As we all know, Hurricane Irma was a devastating and life-changing event for many of us in the Keys. As Board Chair for United Way of the Florida Keys (UWFK), I am humbled to be a part of the amazing recovery effort happening in the community and am proud of UWFK’s role and dedication to helping Monroe County. We are committed to helping working families get back in their homes and back on the path to normalcy. UWFK is unique in that we are able to leverage tremendous resources to benefit partner organizations and citizens on a local level.

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of friends and supporters near and far, UWFK has raised nearly $1.5 million for hurricane relief efforts here in the Keys. 100% of this fund directly aids the community through funding to over 30 local nonprofits or through direct assistance to individuals. More than half of this fund has been raised by United Way Worldwide, United Way of Florida, and other United Ways around the world for our recovery work in the Keys. While our United Way of the Florida Keys is a local 501(c)3 dedicated to serving our community, being part of this global network has given us access to funds our community wouldn’t otherwise have.

The United Way is often the organization people seek out when they want to support hurricane relief work. By giving to UWFK, supporters know they are donating to a local nonprofit within an internationally recognized network. Money for our relief fund has come from around the world, from a displaced Harvey resident still living in a Texas shelter who gave $5, to corporate partners like Publix, Wells Fargo, Comcast and Florida Blue who are investing in the area they serve every day.

The work we are doing with UWFK’s hurricane relief fund will change many lives in the Keys community. We have already been able to support thousands of Keys residents from our youngest by replacing damaged items at childcare facilities creating a safe space for children to once again thrive, to our oldest by assisting a senior citizen on a fixed income in replacing her hot water heater as she had no hot water for 4 months following Irma. We will continue to get hurricane donations out into our community and into the hands of those who desperately need it.

On behalf of UWFK, thank you to each and every one of our supporters, volunteers and community partners. Together we will rebuild the Keys community. UWFK’s mission to fight for working families in the Keys has become even more critical since Hurricane Irma and, with your support, we will continue to do so.


Maria Jones
Board Chair, United Way of the Florida Keys