The Red Cross providing hot meals and a person to talk to for Collier County Ian victims

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In Collier County, a lot of volunteers are getting food and water to people in need so they don’t have to worry about the essentials while recovering from Ian.

The Red Cross was at a food distribution site Thursday afternoon giving out hot meals while also providing someone to talk to.

That was for people who wanted to just sit and vent about what they have been going through. People say if there’s one positive thing about what’s going on, it’s how much the community has come together.

The Red Cross providing hot meals to victims in Collier County. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Jim Pastore, like many others, is recovering, taking it day by day, and hoping to rebuild his life back to what it once was.

“I’ve been here 20 years I’m a retired police officer so, I’ve seen a lot but nothing like this,” Pastore said.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ian is traumatizing and difficult to process. That’s why some people are taking advantage of what the Red Cross is offering, by allowing people to vent and express themselves.

James Bell is one of the volunteers helping out with the Red Cross.

“You might see mental health, or health services, and have some of our nurse volunteers or some of our volunteers who are more specialized in mental health, emotional health, and then for me spiritual care, ill try and see if there might be a need there for somebody,” Bell said.

Bell explained that sometimes people simply need to talk to someone and relieve their stress as they may have no one to do that with.

“When someone feels refreshed and they feel like they’re encouraged in their heart and in their spirit, it helps them get up the next day, it helps them feel more motivated, it helps them feel confident and this dsaster is not going to be as bad as they first thought it was,” Bell said.

The Veterans Community Park in North Naples was just one of their many stops on Thursday, where they can feed up to 200 people or more at a location.

Bell said of all the places he’s helped volunteer, there is something special about how much Southwest Floridians have helped one another.

“I’ve been through several different disasters, floods, and hurricanes, with the Red Cross, and this is my first one in Florida, and I’ve been amazed at how responsive and supportive the local communities have been, it just amazing to me,” Bell said.

Click here to find out where the Red Cross Food Van will be next, it changes daily.

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