Going the Extra Mile: Delivering Humanitarian Supplies for Hurricane Ian Victims

air plain with humanitarian supplies

In the devastating wake of Hurricane Ian, now being called the deadliest storm to hit Florida since 1935, Melaleuca quickly arrived on the scene to offer humanitarian aid on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.

East Idaho News published this feature story about Melaleuca’s multifaceted response to help victims of Hurricane Ian. Hours after the hurricane ripped through southwest Florida, Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot organized a relief effort to fill the corporate jet to maximum capacity with 34 electric generators, power strips, gas cans, and 1,000 bottles of Sol-U-Mel® 3-in-1 Cleaner. These essential supplies were flown from Idaho Falls, Idaho, to a private airport in Naples, Florida, where a team of Melaleuca customers met the jet, loaded the supplies into their trucks and SUVs, and distributed them to families in need.

The East Idaho News story contains a nine-and-a-half-minute interview with Melaleuca customer Sarah Rankin, who responded to Frank’s call for assistance and selflessly participated by distributing emergency supplies to help those who lost so much.

Beyond Frank’s immediate boots-on-the-ground approach, Melaleuca coordinated with nonprofit organizations and churches in the heart of the disaster to provide aid. The Melaleuca Foundation also supported Hurricane Ian victims in other ways:

  • Donated $36,000 worth of healthy snack bars to nourish those staying in temporary shelters through the American Red Cross network.
  • Donated a variety of personal hygiene and cleaning products through Christ Community Church, which served as a distribution point for families living in Naples, Marco Island, and the Isles of Capri.
  • Paid the transportation cost for a semitrailer loaded with bottled water to be trucked from Columbus, Ohio, to Cape Coral, Florida. From there, a group of volunteers transported this bottled water via ferry to support victims of Pine Island, Florida. Once the bottled water was on the island, volunteers used ATV, UTVs, and pickup trucks to distribute water to the remaining homes on the island.

“What I’ve come to know about Frank and Melaleuca is they do all the good they can, by all the means they can, all the times they can, for all the people that they can,” Rankin said.

Reflecting on Melaleuca’s involvement during times of natural disaster, American Red Cross of Greater Idaho and Montana CEO Nicole Irwin Sirak said, “Melaleuca is a valued, long-standing partner of the Red Cross on many fronts and especially now as we respond to Hurricane Ian. We requested sweet and salty snacks to distribute from our mobile feeding vehicles and in our shelters. Despite the short notice, Melaleuca processed the request and delivered these products directly to our warehouses. They are a great partner who impacts countless lives.”

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