Fort Myers Beach community comes together for post-hurricane Thanksgiving

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Several organizations and volunteers banded together Thursday to serve a Thanksgiving meal on Fort Myers Beach.

Hurricane Ian destroyed hundreds of kitchens across Estero Island. Thursday afternoon, Beach Baptist Church off Connecticut Street invited the community to stop by.

 “It’s a common thread for people to be really down, depressed, anxious, all the things that come with this. But we still have the ability to look ahead,” said Pastor Shawn Crister,  “If we can dig deep, figure out a way to survive one day at a time and be thankful for those days that we have.”

Shannell and Richie Wolff from Casting Lots Ministries drove down to Southwest Florida from the panhandle right after the storm. The couple’s home on Mexico Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Michael in 2018. Richie said, “…very reminiscent of what we went through, hearing other people’s stories similar to what either we went through or other people went through them.”

The couple and their children helped cook turkey, ham, and some fix-ins. “We are just trying to serve everybody’s stomachs, give them a hot meal and serve their hearts too,” Shannell said. 

The front of the church’s property still offers free community showers and bathrooms. 

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