As South Florida regroups after Hurricane Irma and services begin to reopen, some businesses in Miami-Dade and Broward have joined in relief efforts to offer free goods or reduced costs or service fees to help the community get back to normalcy.
Here’s what we are seeing out there. Stay with the Miami Herald for the latest reports.
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▪ The Miami VA Healthcare System has deployed a Mobile Medical Unit to Key Largo to help support local recovery efforts in Monroe County. The unit will be at 105662 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, through Sept. 17. The unit will provide veterans and non-veterans with basic medical evaluations and treatment. Hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
The authorization for VA to provide medical care for non-veterans requires payment for medical services rendered. Insurance information will be taken on site, however the VA encourages anyone who needs medical service to seek out treatment.
A mobile Vet Center is currently serving Veterans in Homestead with counseling support and linking for community services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 950 Krome Ave.
▪ Miami-Dade and Broward public schools to deliver free lunches on Friday.
In Miami-Dade 11 schools will distribute food to families from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at W.F. Stirrup Elementary, 330 NW 97th Ave., Miami; Miami Senior High, 2450 SW First St., Miami; Booker T. Washington Senior, 1200 NW Sixth Ave., Miami; Hialeah Middle, 6027 East Seventh Ave., Hialeah; Miami Carol City Senior High, 3301 Miami Gardens Dr.; West Miami Middle, 7525 SW 24th St.; Liberty City Elementary, 1855 NW 71st St.; Feinberg/Fisher K-8 Center, 1420 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; Homestead Senior High, 2351 SW 12th Ave.; Robert Morgan Educational Center, 18180 SW 122nd Ave., Miami; and South Hialeah Elementary, 265 E. Fifth St.
Broward Public Schools will deliver the lunches at eight schools from noon to 3 p.m. at Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes; Crystal Lake Middle in Pompano Beach; Deerfield Beach High School; Hallandale High School; Miramar High School; and South Broward High in Hollywood.
▪ Free Meals in the City of Miami Gardens start at noon Friday at Vista Verde Park, 21001 NW 39th Ave. Miami Gardens. At 2 p.m. they will be served at Holy Family Episcopal Church, 18501 NW Seventh Ave. And at 5 p.m. at Mount Hermon AME Church, 17800 NW 25th Ave.
▪ Lennar Homes has partnered with Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay to hand out 60,000 pounds of ice to South Miami-Dade residents, starting at 9 a.m. Friday at Holy Rosary Catholic School, 18455 Franjo Rd., Cutler Bay.
▪ New World Symphony Wallcast Concert and relief aid. A free classical music respite featuring artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Emanuel Ax that will also provide needed amenities to those who are still without power or supplies.
During the 7:30 p.m. Saturday Wallcast, presented by Citi, Thierry’s will provide free bottles of water and Whole Foods will provide complimentary fresh fruit to attendees. The lobby of New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach, will be open and available for people to charge their phones, use free WiFi, and take in the AC.
▪ Community feeding: Little Haiti community leaders will come together at the monthly Sounds of Little Haiti event, now titled “Sounds Of A Community,” to do a community feeding for 1,500 people who are still without power at 3-7 p.m. Friday at 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami.
Event organizers, however, need help including people who have kitchens and electricity who can cook and then serve, water, ice, paper plates, lights and other items. Contact by email at Hareforhaiti@gmail.com or call 305-735-1127 if you’re able to help.
▪ Big Pine Key aid: Winn-Dixie, in partnership with Sanderson Farms, is offering free ice to residents in the Big Pine Key area. A tractor-trailer truck full of ice will be positioned in the parking lot of the Big Pine Key Winn-Dixie store, 251 Key Deer Blvd., at 1 p.m. Friday, where residents who remained on the island can receive a 40 pound box of ice for free while supplies last.
▪ Free legal assistance: A legal aid hotline is now available for those impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney. Call 1-866-550-2929. The hotline operates through a partnership between The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Those who qualify will be matched with Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help in matters including securing FEMA and other benefits, aking life, medical and property insurance claims, dealing with home repair contractors, replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane, helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures and counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.
More information at www.floridabar.org/hurricaneinfo.
▪ Chill and charge as 12 Ocean Drive businesses on South Beach join Hurricane Irma relief efforts by providing residents of Miami Beach free ice and water (bring a container) and places to charge electronic devices.
Restaurants participating include: Finnegan’s Way, Havana 1957, the Carlyle Hotel, Clevelander Sports Bar, Ocean’s Ten, Mango’s Tropical Café, Caffe Milano, the Pelican Café, Larios on the Beach, the News Café, Wet Willies and TGI Fridays.
The offer is 2-4 p.m. daily until power is restored on Miami Beach. Residents need to show ID.
▪ Sugar Factory Ocean Drive, 1144 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, is giving away a free meal — turkey and Swiss sandwich, bag of chips, fresh fruit and one drink — to those affected by Irma starting at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and repeated Friday.
▪ Free movies: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre will screen free PG-rated family films from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at its theater at 280 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase. Call 305-444-9293.
▪ From first responders to you: DeliverLean has been delivering food — nearly 30,000 meals in five days — to first responders in Miami-Dade and Broward after Irma. The company has also delivered meals to shelters in Little Haiti, including 500 meals Thursday at Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church.
DeliverLean is also asking all its customers to place non-perishable food items and water in their empty food pickup bags for DeliverLean drivers to pick up three times a week. These goods will be distributed during additional relief efforts throughout South Florida to those in need.
▪ JetBlue is providing hot meals for those affected by Hurricane Irma. Lunch at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner at 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at BB&T Center, 2555 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise.
▪ Stress relief at the museum. Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., invites South Florida residents to spend a day at the museum with free admission on Thursday and Friday. . PAMM will host a variety of activities, including family-friendly art-making and a Thursday night happy hour.
▪ Free ice (until it runs out) and use of any power outlet, AC and water fill ups for containers at Shots Miami, 311 NW 23rd St., Wynwood.
▪ Burn off the hurricane junk food: Planet Fitness welcomes anyone in the Miami area impacted by Hurricane Irma to use their facilities free of charge, such as showers, locker rooms and additional health and fitness facilities. No membership needed. The offer is open until further notice. Visit www.planetfitness.com for a list of open clubs.
▪ Stay awhile at the YMCA: As YMCA of South Florida locations in Miami-Dade and Broward open, they will offer the community as a place of respite. You don’t have to be a member. The Ys offer a place to cool off in AC, shower, charge your phone, keep the kids occupied KidZone for a couple hours, or even workout.
YMCAs open now include Pembroke Pines YMCA, Greater Hollywood, L.A. Lee YMCA in Fort Lauderdale, South Dade YMCA, North Pointe YMCA, Village of Allapattah YMCA.
▪ Kings Dining & Entertainment in Doral is hosting a fundraising drive throughout September to help with Irma relief. Among Kings’ plans: Kings will donate 50 percent of its gaming sales to hurricane relief efforts. Bowl for Hurricane Relief bracelets ($5) and a GoFundMe page that will enter anyone who donates $10 or more into a raffle to win a King Pin Room party. Money will go to American Red Cross disaster relief. Details on fundraising here.
▪ Duracell’s Power Forward initiative is working with local authorities, FEMA and the Red Cross to mobilize at least one relief vehicle in Florida to provide free batteries, mobile charging and WiFi to those affected by Irma. Location details will be posted soon on the @Duracell Twitter and Duracell Facebook page.
▪ Lyft Rides: Coral Gables is partnering with the rideshare company Lyft to provide free, storm-related “relief rides” to Coral Gables residents. Call Coral Gables’ hotline at 305-460-5401 and call-takers will make the arrangements. This service is available for a limited period.
▪ Regions Bank announced a variety of financial services, including payment extensions and the waiving of certain fees post-Irma. Offers include: Regions’ fees waived for customers at other banks’ ATMs in the affected areas and waived for non-customers at Regions’ ATMs in the affected areas; one penalty-free CD withdrawal; personal loan payment extensions through a customer assistance program; and payment extensions available for existing credit card holders. Call 1-800-411-9393.
▪ Bank of America’s Client Assistance Program is available for personalized financial assistance. The bank will automatically refund fees in FEMA-designated counties in Florida that include: deposit fees for overdraft, non-sufficient funds, overdraft protection transfers, extended overdrawn balance charges, and non-Bank of America ATM fees. Also, debit card rush and replacement fees, fees for early withdrawal on a CD.
▪ Realtor helping realtors: Anthony Askowitz, a realtor with Re/max, invites other realtors to use his offices, regardless of agency. In a Facebook post that he addressed to fellow realtors and business professionals he wrote: “Once again we have been spared the worst of the worst in South Florida. Fortunately our two offices have power, internet, and a/c. We want to extend our good fortune to all of you. Our doors are open for you to come in to charge phones, use the internet, use the computers, make phone calls on land lines, make copies, send faxes, emails, etc. Until you are up and running, we are here to support you and your business as much as possible. We are one community helping each other when needed. Please use our services as needed to help your business.”
▪ El Paseo Hotel, a boutique hotel on Miami Beach’s Española Way, is offering a Miami Relief Rate for standard rooms at $99 and suites with kitchenettes starting at $149. Reservations for the Miami Relief Rate can only be made directly with the hotel and are not available online. Email Reservations@elpaseohotel.com or call 855-417-8483 and mention promo code: Miami Relief Rate.
▪ Free mobile credit and debit card readers to eligible business owners impacted by Irma. First Data, a commerce-enabling company, will also provide free device installation of its Clover Go mobile card reader and discounted pricing for these businesses as they re-open their doors in the aftermath.
Clover Go plugs into an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone and works with a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, allowing business owners to accept secure payments anywhere, whether a temporary shop or permanent location. Clover Go is wireless and rechargeable, it does not require an outlet to operate. The offer is only for those businesses in a designated area identified by FEMA for individual assistance. Call 1-855-401-8152 or visit www.firstdata.com/hurricaneirmarelief.
▪ United Data Technologies, which handles tech needs for Miami-Dade Public Schools, among other public and private entities, has donated over 4,000 items to the shelter at Florida International University, which is housing evacuees from the Keys. UDT also sent volunteer staff and created a play area for children at the shelter and has provided office space for its clients to use.
▪ The Venture City, an internet company at 1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, is offering space at its office, which has power and WiFi (and coffee) for those in need of workspace. Direct message Venture City on its Facebook page for details. The office has room for about 20 people.
▪ Direct Relief: FedEx loaded an MD-10 Cargo Jet at Memphis International Airport bound for Miami International Airport on Friday morning carrying $11 million worth of medicines, medical supplies, hygiene kits and emergency medical backpacks for Direct Relief. Also on board, more than 4,000 hygiene kits for Heart to Heart International as well as generators and employee relief. Once the relief supplies are unloaded in Miami, more than 100 dogs and cats from the Miami-Dade County Shelter will be loaded on board to be flown to Oakland, California, where they will be delivered to no-kill shelters in the San Francisco area.
▪ First responders need love, too. As a thank you to first responders and linemen, including FPL/electrical workers, LTP Managment restaurants Hooters (nine locations in Miami-Dade and Broward), Royal Pig Pub and Lulu’s Bait Shack (the latter two in Fort Lauderdale) are offering a 25% discount off food. Must be in uniform or show ID to receive discount on food purchases.
▪ The City of Miami is sending water to the Florida Keys via three tractor trailers that left Marlins Park Thursday afternoon. City of Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban and Miami police led the caravan that will stop at Monroe County EOC in Marathon to determine where the water is needed most.