TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As damage assessments continue in communities across southwest Florida, people all over the country are seeing shocking photos and videos emerge of the devastating damage Hurricane Ian left behind, and many are wondering how they can help.
Among those looking to help the hurricane victims is a 10-year-old boy named Carter from Wisconsin. His mom, Amber Kormanik, reached out to Nexstar’s WFLA.com because Carter is trying to get in touch with the owner of his favorite vacation spot in Fort Myers.
Kormanik explained that their family stays at a resort in Fort Myers called Lani Kai when they go on vacation. When Hurricane Ian hit Fort Myers earlier this week, Carter was devastated.
Hurricane Ian battered Fort Myers, Sanibel Island and several other communities in southwest Florida for hours on Wednesday. It made landfall near Cayo Costa just after 3 p.m. as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
“Fort Myers to Carter is the only thing he knows as ‘vacation,'” Kormanik said. “He was in tears all last night seeing pictures of the area and the resort itself, and he just wanted to help.”
Carter decided to write a letter to the owner of Lani Kai, according to his mom, because he wants to donate his allowance money to help rebuild.
“My heart is broken seeing pictures from the damage of the hurricane. I’m sure your family is very sad,” Carter wrote in the letter. “Your resort is my favorite place in this world. I know it’s not a lot, but I would like to give you my allowance money to help you rebuild your hotel. Thanks for letting me make memories there.”
Kormanik said their family just visited Lani Kai last December to celebrate Carter’s birthday. She told us the 10-year-old “has the largest heart” and loves to help others.
Carter ended the note he wrote to the resort owners by asking where he can send his allowance money.
According to its Facebook page, Lani Kai was built in 1978 and is a family-owned resort. The business posted on Wednesday morning, letting everyone know they were “locked in tight and battened down” for the storm.
A follow-up comment posted later in the afternoon said, “our island is completely underwater. Please pray for all those still out here on Fort Myers Beach. We are here if anyone can make it to get higher up.”