A Cedar Rapids man who knows all too well what natural disasters can do to an entire state has started making an impact on the lives of people in Florida, after hurricane Ian. Iowans are very familiar with the term derecho and know the struggles that come with rebuilding communities when disaster strikes. A Cedar Rapids man, who lives and works in Florida during the winter months, is doing what he can to help rebuild his Fort Myers community. What started out as a simple GoFundMe page has grown into something more.

According to KCRG, Zach Hale, originally from Cedar Rapids, is an electrician and during the winter months, he lives and works in Florida. Sadly, Hurricane Ian took out his workshop in Fort Myers but he's thankful that everything he lost, he's able to replace.

Unsplash - Kelly Sikkema
Unsplash - Kelly Sikkema


That's not the case for many people currently living in Florida. When he started a GoFundMe page to help in the relief efforts, he found out pretty quickly he was going to be able to help more people than he expected.

He told KCRG

“I realized, quickly, that I’m going to fill the truck. We’ll have to take it to the next level and do everything we can.

Originally, Hale started the GoFundMe page, and then he took it up a notch. With the help of the Cedar Rapids Moose Lodge, Iowans and Hale have filled a trailer with supplies that he's going to drive down to Florida. As someone who's been through a previous natural disaster that destroyed his camper, Hale told KCRG, he believes that's why so many Iowans are helping him to rebuild Florida.

You can’t understand what it’s really like until you see everything destroyed. That’s why everyone is stepping up to help me. Because of all the work I have put in and the things we’ve done in the past.

According to KCRG, more than 115 people have died because of the storm and hundreds of thousands of people are left without basic resources, such as power and water.

Hale and the Moose Lodge will continue receiving donations up until Saturday. Saturday morning, Hale will head south toward Fort Myers.

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