Chloe Ottani, a 2021 graduate of West Hartford’s Hall High School who is now a college student in Florida, is collecting donations to assist Hurricane Ian victims.
By Ronni Newton
Chloe Ottani’s college campus and her apartment were spared the wrath of Hurricane Ian, but less than 100 miles to the south, conditions are devastating.
Ottani, who graduated from West Hartford’s Hall High School in 2021, is currently a sophomore at the University of Tampa, and wants to do whatever she can to assist those whose lives have been forever changed.
“Originally this hurricane was supposed to hit Tampa Bay (my home) directly, and when it didn’t I think I felt so much relief that we were okay, but so much guilt that our neighboring counties had lost close to everything,” Ottani said. “And the fact that that very easily could have been me just pushed me to want to help in any way possible.”
She posted in a local Fort Myers group asking what items people need, and has obtained donations of goods as well as funds that she is using to shop in Tampa.
On Tuesday, Ottani used the donated funds she had received thus far to purchase necessities at a nearby Walmart, filling carts with diapers, underwear, blankets, and other items. She plans to deliver what she has collected and purchased to Fort Meyers over the weekend.
Ottani is looking for help wherever possible, and said while it may not be possible for people to ship donations from the West Hartford area, many in the community may have relatives or friends in Florida who are looking for a way to make a direct impact and are able to donate, or who may be able to assist her with transporting the donations from Tampa to Fort Meyers. Anyone with questions can call or text Ottani at 860-212-3386.
Ottani has also created a GoFundMe campaign to collect funds that she is using to purchase needed items for the Hurricane Ian victims. As of Tuesday evening, she had raised $1,190 of the $1,500 goal.
The most critical needs include:
- Baby wipes
- Baby formula
- Baby food
- Feminine hygiene products
- Toilet paper
- Pet food
- Non-perishable food items
- Cleaning Supplies
Items can also be shipped to Ottani directly. Her address is 608 North Willow Ave., Apt. 245, Tampa, FL 33606.
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