Tampa church sends donations, volunteers to southwest Florida for Hurricane Ian relief

Amid the devastation from Hurricane Ian in southwest Florida, there has been an outpouring of support from across the state.

That compassion is on full display at Radiant Church in Tampa, which also has locations throughout the Bay Area. Lead Pastor Aaron Burke says anytime a natural disaster strikes, members of the church have responded with donations and offers to help.

"We actually showed up to church Sunday and we said, ‘Don’t show up empty-handed on Sunday, bring all of your hurricane supplies," Burke told FOX 13. "So everybody had their snacks, and their waters, and their medical supplies, and they brought it all to church on Sunday. We filled up multiple tractor-trailer loads already of donations."

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He said one member who owns a propane company donated multiple bottles. Others donated generators.

The church has sent several teams down to the Fort Myers area in the past week, helping to serve hot food to survivors, and distributing donations to partners on the ground through local churches and disaster relief organizations.

"You kind-of realize that everybody shows up a few days after and then weeks after, nobody's there," Burke said. "So we're coming up with a long-term plan of helping, and our goal is to be sending teams weeks and weeks from no to continue to help."

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The latest team going to the devastated area is equipped with chainsaws to help clear tree limbs and debris off of homes, he said.

"This is a time where it seems dark and it seems frustrating, but it's a time for us to really shine, that shows really the heart what it means to be a Christian, to serve other people," Burke said.

To volunteer for Radiant Church's Hurricane Ian recovery travel group in southwest Florida, or to visit their hurricane relief website, click here