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Angels of LI collecting, shipping donations to hurricane-ravaged Florida

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Angels of Long Island is lending a helping hand down to Florida as residents there recover from the devastation brought upon by Hurricane Ian last week.

Angels’ founder Debbie Loesch recalls watching a live newscast with a pit in her stomach as the Category 4 hurricane ripped through parts of southwest Florida on Sept. 29.

Cities such as Fort Meyers, Naples, and Sanibel bore the brunt of the monster storm.

Loesch, her mother, her brother, and her sister-in-law lost their vacation homes in Fort Meyers to the hurricane, all of which went underwater and are now roofless.

Her mother and late father owned their home in Fort Meyers for over 30 years.

And now it is uninhabitable, she said.

“I feel horrified that we lost our homes,” Loesch said. “It’s been so stressful lately…[Fort Meyers] is my place to unplug and when I saw the house, I just cried and I said God why am I being so selfish, that’s my vacation home — I’m lucky I have a home and we didn’t get hurt, these [other] people lost everything … their primary residence.”

Story continues after photos.

Damages to one of the Loesch homes. (courtesy photo)

Loesch didn’t waste any time figuring out how she could help Floridians pick up the pieces.

In collaboration with Robert Esposito, founder of the Relocators moving truck service, Angels of Long Island hosted a huge Florida collection on Tuesday afternoon and continued donations into today, Wednesday.

Relocators will be picking up the first round of donations and driving the supplies to Bonita Springs, Fla.

Delattore Real Estate Group, a real estate brokerage located at 3570 Bonita Beach Rd. SW in Bonita Springs, will be passing out all the donated items curbside to the residents in that area, said Samantha Hoagland-Corrochano, the real estate group’s vice president.

Another collection is in the works for Fort Meyers, and those details will be posted to the Angels of Long Island Facebook page once scheduled.

Angels of Long Island, whose thrift store and community outreach center is located at 350 East Main Street in Patchogue, is accepting a little bit of everything: clothing, shoes, baby items, personal hygiene items, tarps, batteries, sunscreen, non-perishable foods, water, cleaning supplies, and more.

“I’m grateful to be able to do this,” Loesch said.

For more information about this ongoing collection and what to donate, call Angels of Long Island representatives directly at 631-803-6775.

A storage container being filled with donated goods outside the Angels of Long Island thrift shop in Patchogue. (courtesy photo)