Two Years After Hurricane Michael: Returning to our Roots

Oct 14, 2020 | Hurricane Relief, Local Projects, Sonder Update

When Hurricane Michael devastated Panama City, Florida, and the surrounding areas in October of 2018, The Sonder Project was focused on international development work in sub-Saharan Africa. With a goal to have the highest possible impact on its partner communities, The Sonder Project focuses efforts where the needs are great, and the dollar can go furthest. For as little as $25, The Sonder Project can change a life in Africa through our initiatives to provide clean water, build schools, and establish irrigated community farms. Despite our global focus, when Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle of Florida, neighboring our headquarters in Santa Rosa Beach, we decided we needed to step-up and respond to the urgent need on our doorstep. Two years later, with our last project for hurricane restoration in August 2020, The Sonder Project has spent all of the funds raised towards the recovery effort, and we are proud of our accomplishments.


Total Amount Raised/Spent – $611,007

233 Households impacted, including:


Homes Cleared of Trees/Debris


Homes Electricity Restored


Roofs Tarped


Major Drywall Repairs


Roofs Replaced


Complete Homes Rebuilt

We encourage you to look back at our blog over the past two years to revisit some of the incredibly, resilient people we supported. Whether it’s the positivity of Annie-Jean, the birth of a friendship between Tonya and Charles, the love of the Harrells, or the reclaiming of family history by Lisa—each of these stories touched our lives in immeasurable ways and it’s our hope that they equally touch yours.

Of course, none of our efforts would be possible without the over 440 individuals and businesses who contributed to our hurricane relief and recovery efforts. Thank you for choosing us to be your vehicle for impacting change. We are so grateful to the people of Panama City and the affected areas. May you continue to recover and thrive.

Now, as we look ahead, we hope you will continue this journey with us to support communities where we can have a far-reaching impact. As important as our work was after Hurricane Michael, it remains equally critical in our communities in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and Malawi, Southeastern Africa—where we currently run programs and we are able to affect so many more lives with fewer funds. Through our hurricane recovery work, we spent about $870 for every person we impacted through housing recovery; in comparison, in sub-Saharan Africa, we spend no more than $25 for every person we can provide with access to education and clean water. This is why we do what we do. We are one global community, and our task is to do the most good possible. We hope you will join us.

Thanks to the generous support of our Founding Partner, 360 Blue, who covers 100% of The Sonder Project’s administrative costs, all of your donations go directly to our programs.

Panama City resident, Lesa and her 2 year old child posing in front of their trailer after The Sonder Project replaced the roof in March of 2020.

Panama City resident Patty and two of her three sons posing in their home rebuilt by The Sonder Project in 2019.

Panama City resident Charles with his daughter and grandkids in front of their home where The Sonder Project removed a large tree, repaired their roof and patched their interior drywall in 2018.

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