Join us in supporting tornado relief efforts in Lakeland through these vetted local nonprofits.

Kathleen Middle School Classroom

A Kathleen Middle School classroom damaged by the tornado | Photo by Polk County Public Schools

LAKELAND, FL (October 30, 2019) – As you know, in the late hours of October 18, an EF-2 tornado was spawned by Tropical Storm Nestor. It was spawned near the Lakeland Linder Airport. From there, it traveled north for 13 miles, causing downed power lines and major damage to homes, businesses, and schools in its path. Thankfully, no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

A state of emergency was not declared, so FEMA assistance is not available to these residents. And, because the tornado was caused by a named tropical storm, those that have home insurance are facing hurricane deductible rates. Polk County’s Emergency Director is encouraging the community to support relief efforts in this predominately low-income area.

We invite you to join GWCF staff, board members, and fundholders in providing tornado relief assistance to help this area recover. We’ve identified and vetted several local nonprofits who are helping with relief efforts.

Lakeland tornado relief resources:

  • Mount Tabor Baptist Church – Mount Tabor’s pantry feeds over 200 families in the neighboring community. They are collaborating with Kathleen Middle School to meet student and teacher needs. The church took a direct hit from the tornado. Pastor Matt is working hard to get debris cleared and a floor and walls erected to get their food pantry back up and running.
  • America Red Cross Assessing needs of residents and providing Case Managers
  • United Way of Central Florida Providing temporary relief to homeowners, businesses, and churches impacted by the storm through 211.
  • Salvation Army of Lakeland – Provides temporary relief to homeowners impacted by the storm.
  • Polk Education Foundation – Collecting funds to help Kathleen Middle School teachers and students. Contact PEF on where to drop off actual school supplies.

Give directly to any of the above organizations by clicking on their names. Or, donate to our Disaster Relief Fund, and we will forward it on to provide tornado relief efforts. Donor advised fundholders can request grants to any one of the following organizations using our online fundholder portal.