Bethenny Frankel’s BStrong Foundation continues its effort to raise funds for victims and displaced residents of the deadly building collapse in South Florida, while also providing much-needed supplies and temporary housing.
By the early evening on Saturday, Frankel took to her Instagram page to announce the non-profit has already received donations totaling more than ‘$250,000 and counting.’
Sadly, the number of people confirmed to be killed rose to five.
Currently, 130 people have now been accounted for and 156 others are listed as still missing following the collapse of the 12-story residential building, Champlain Towers, early Thursday morning.
Relief effort: Bethenny Frankel, 50, gave an update on the ongoing relief effort of her disaster relief foundation, BStrong, on Saturday night
The Real Housewives Of New York City alum, 50, began the update by revealing BStrong has been in direct contact with the families who have been evacuated.
Those in need are receiving aid in the form of $1500 per family.
‘We have been doing distributions all day, and in addition we have survival kits, and all of this is thanks to you and thanks to the donations,’ Frankel said of the relief effort.
She and her team are also securing housing for those now homeless due to the sudden collapse of about 55 of the 136 units at the building that’s just a few miles north of Miami Beach.
Making a difference: Frankel announced BStrong had received $250,000 in donations
Direct assistance: People are being urged to donate whatever they can, and that ‘100% of your donation will go towards cash cards to be distributed directly to the victims’
Dangerous search: The number of people confirmed to be killed rose to five on Saturday. Currently, 130 people have now been accounted for and 156 others are listed as missing following the collapse of the 12-story residential building, Champlain Towers, early Thursday
‘So we have residences for three to four months for 30 families, and I’m working on more,’ the founder of the Skinny Girl lifestyle brand confirmed.
‘And we are working on furniture because some of them are not furnished so there will be more soon; we’re on it. Thank you and keep donating.’
BStrong will be issuing a form for people to fill out to apply for temporary housing. Frankel said she has had even more people reach out to her for residences so she thinks the effort, which is a partnership with the non-profit Global Empowerment Mission, ‘will really be able to make a huge difference.’
Death toll rises: The number of people confirmed to be killed rose to five
Tense times: 130 people have now been accounted for and 156 others are listed as still missing following the collapse of the 12-story residential building, Champlain Towers, early Thursday
Relief effort: BStrong is organizing donations and has already helped find housing for three to four months for 30 families affected by the tragedy
Also on Saturday, investigators identified three more people killed during the tragedy: Antonio Lozano, 83, Gladys Lozano, 79, and Manuel LaFont, 54, according to CNN.
Stacie Fang, 54, had previously been confirmed to be killed, while the fifth victim has not yet been identified.
‘Today our search and rescue teams found another body in the rubble,’ Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said before adding, ‘And as well, our search has revealed some human remains.’
To help identify the victims, officials are relying on DNA testing, and have already gathered DNA samples from family members.
In all, about 55 of the 136 units at the building, which is just a few miles north of Miami Beach, came tumbling down during the tragedy
Taking action! BStrong partnered with Global Empowerment Mission, for the relief effort
On it! Crews at the BStrong warehouse are sending out much-needed supplies
Aid: Frankel says the foundation is supplying the Shul of Bal Harbour and other local community centers with BStrong Family Necessities Kits for the community affected
Frankel informed her 2.3 million Instagram fans and followers of her non-profit’s deployment to help the people who had been living at the apartment complex, while also sharing photos and videos taken at BStrong’s supply warehouse in Miami.
‘We’re also supplying the Shul of Bal Harbour and other local community centers our BStrong Family Necessities Kits for the entire community affected,’ she said Friday night.
Since the BStrong facility, which is the size of a Costco and filled with supplies, is located in Miami, the foundation was able to get assistance out very quickly.
Frankel says the facility is stocked with items like survival kits, lumber, medical supplies, pet supplies, baby products, food and blankets.
While making a plea for help on her Insta-Story, the New York City native maintained that ‘100% of your donation will go towards cash cards to be distributed directly to the victims and their families to give them the liberation and dignity that they need and deserve to rebuild.’
On the job: BStrong has warehouse full of relief aid, including survival kits, that has already begun to be shipped out to those in need
Ongoing: Frankel says the BSrong warehouse is stocked with other much needed supplies like lumber, medical products, items for babies and pets, food and blankets
Hands on: The Real Housewives Of New York City alum said her team has been meeting with families on the ground in order to get supplies directly to those in need
‘We have been meeting with families and are on the ground working intimately, immediately and directly with city officials and victims,’ the activist added.
The former Bethenny talk show host urged people to ‘please help’ and that ‘we can make a difference. You can be part of the change in the world. Xo and thank you. bethenny.com/BSTRONG.’
The BStrong program became active in disaster relief efforts in 2017, and has since been at the forefront of a number of tragedies following natural disasters during the last few years.
Officials have not determined the exact cause of the collapse. It is expected to take time, since investigators aren’t expected to do an extensive search of the rubble until the rescue mission has concluded.
Donations needed: Frankel is urging people to ‘please help’ and that ‘we can make a difference’ in this relief effort in Florida and around the world
Making a difference: Frankel’s B Strong program became active in disaster relief efforts in 2017