Shopping malls, grocery stores, hospitals, housing developments -- even entertainers -- are shoring up support for Central Florida social agencies struggling to fill unprecedented demands for food, financial aid and clothing from victims of Hurricane Charley.
Benefit church services, concerts and online auctions also offer ways to give.
Most of the fund-raising events benefit such disaster-relief agencies as the American Red Cross of Central Florida, the Salvation Army in Orlando and Sanford and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
The "big three" relief agencies have sheltered, fed and assisted thousands of families displaced by the Aug. 13 storm, and in the process spent thousands of dollars from already-stretched budgets.
"We've spent $85,000 in the past seven days distributing food," Dave Krepcho, president of Second Harvest in Orlando, said Friday. "We've had to secure warehouse space [for food], rent tractor-trailers, hire extra staff and buy fuel for our generators."
During the past seven days, the food bank also has delivered 400,000 pounds of food to its member agencies in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties -- an agency record, Krepcho said.
Normally, the food bank delivers a million pounds of food a month, he said.
There are many ways to help.
ORANGE COUNTY The Lake Nona Hurricane Charley Recovery Drive, noon to 7 p.m. today at Magnolia Green Park. Bring nonperishable food items -- especially canned goods -- diapers, cleaning supplies, pet food and donations for Second Harvest, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and SPCA. Sponsored by developers, builders and employees of Lake Nona.
Mall at Millenia Food Drive, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday at Interstate 4, Exit 78 and Conroy Road. Drop off nonperishable food and baby supplies for Second Harvest with the concierge near the mall's main entrance. Details, 407-363-3555.
The Heart of Florida United Way's Hurricane Relief Fund will assist residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties with financial assistance. Contributions may be sent to Heart of Florida United Way, P.O. Box 608210, Orlando, FL 32860-8210, or dropped off at any SunTrust bank branch.
Hurricane Charley Health Beat, from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland. The free, family event offers swimming for kids, a health fair, gym and tours of the new fitness center and dance studio. Sponsors are the Winter Park Health Foundation and Century National Bank.
Clear Channel's Online Auction offers 43 celebrity guitars signed by such celebrities as Rush Limbaugh, Chubby Checker, Randy Travis, Wynonna Judd, Peter Frampton, Lee Greenwood and the Moody Blues. Make bids at stormaid.com until Sept. 20. Proceeds will benefit hurricane victims.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida will kick off a clothing drive for hurricane victims Monday at Goodwill Retail Stores: 7531 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando; 821 S. Highway 17-92, Longwood; 4257 13th Street, St. Cloud. Individuals need clothing vouchers from the American Red Cross to pick out clothes at Goodwill stores. Vouchers are available at the Northwest Community Center in Orange, Tuskawilla Methodist Church in Seminole and Kissimmee Middle School and St. Cloud Senior Citizen Center in Osceola.
Calvary Assembly and Z88.3 radio will present a free Post Hurricane Charley Concert with Christian artists Watermark at 6 p.m. today in the church, 1199 Clay St., Winter Park. Suggested donations include batteries, canned chicken and tuna, peanut butter, baby food and dried fruit. Florida's Blood Centers will take blood donations in the south parking lot from noon until 6 p.m. The first 200 people to donate blood will receive a free Z88 T-shirt.
Central Florida band Big Sky will hold a concert at 6 p.m. today at Pointe Orlando on International Drive to benefit the American Red Cross. Details, 407-903-1477.
Seminole County Community Resources is sending out volunteer repair teams to help hurricane victims who need minor repairs in Midway, Oviedo, Roseland Park, Lockhart, Bookertown, Jamestown, Mobile Manor, Goldsboro, East Altamonte and Chuluota. Residents who need tarps, plastic sheeting, hammers, nails, tool kits, plywood, duct tape, gloves and screw drivers can call 407-665-7384 or 407-665-7432.
Christian Sharing Center, 600 N Highway 17-92, (Fairmont Plaza) Longwood, is accepting nonperishable food items from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Donations of building materials will be accepted at Harvest Time International, 131 Maritime Drive, Sanford.
Those interested in volunteering in recovery efforts can call the Seminole Community Volunteer Program at 407-323-4440, Ext. 1 or 4.
Nonperishable food items can be dropped off through Wednesday at Insurance Office of America, 1855 W. S.R. 434, Longwood Village shopping center.
Salvation Army, Florida's Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are accepting financial donations today at Seminole Towne Center in Sanford. The Salvation Army is collecting from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. outside the food court entrance. The Red Cross is collecting from 2 to 4 p.m. near the Center Court. The Blood Centers will hold a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the Center Court.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida will collect clothing, starting Monday, at its store at 821 S. U.S. Highway 17-92, Longwood. People with American Red Cross vouchers can pick up clothing at the same location. Vouchers are available at Tuskawilla Methodist Church.
Community Life Center is accepting donations of nonperishable food at these Blockbuster locations: 890 Saxon Blvd. and 2499 Enterprise Road, Orange City, and 915 Doyle Road, Deltona.
Florida Hospital DeLand and Florida Hospital Fish Memorial are participating in a Hurricane Charley Disaster Relief Fund for hospital employees who are victims. Checks made out to Florida Hospital West Volusia Foundation, with disaster relief fund in the memo line, can be dropped off at either hospital's administrative offices. Details, 386-943-4870 or 386-917-5090.
Bally Total Fitness centers statewide are collecting canned goods for hurricane victims in Polk County, to be delivered by the Salvation Army. Donors receive a free trial Bally membership.
Publix customers statewide may contribute to the Charley Relief Fund effort by adding a dollar amount to their grocery total at store registers. Proceeds will be channeled through area United Ways and their affiliated Red Cross and Salvation Army agencies.
Brevard County musicians will hold a benefit concert from noon to closing Aug. 29 at Lou's Blues Club, 3191 Highway A1A in Indialantic. Suggested donation is $5 per person at the door. Proceeds go to the American Red Cross. The event also is sponsored by 89.5 FM (WFIT) radio, Budweiser and Southern Wines. Musicians donating their time include Dave Fiester and the Groove Monsters, Taylor Made, Drift Session, Terry Kelly with Steve Rinker, Blues Control, Steve Thorpe, The Usual Suspects, Dave Kury, Johnny Fever and Fat City.
Sandra Mathers can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5507.