FORT MYERS BEACH
Twelve families were surprised with new RVs after losing everything in the storm.
These 12 families thought they were just getting free barbeque on Fort Myers Beach, but instead they got a van.
Debra and Billy Cole were the first to be surprised today.
It’s all made possible by Steven DeLeonardis, a YouTuber who wanted to give back to his home state after the devastation left by Hurricane Ian.
Debra and Billy said the DeLeonardis’ donation takes them back to when they first met.
She lived in Spain and he was a pilot in Connecticut.
“He said I can’t do it anymore. You will have to return to the States. So I came back to the States. He had a nice big house in Litchfield. It was nice. But you know where he met, you know where he took me to the trailer, Debra said.
Bill said she met him when he lived in a trailer he called the Vacation Cottage.
“I liked it. So it’s kind of full circle for you guys, full circle. Unbelievable.
The job worked. We worked,” Debra said.
DeLeonardis said he’s happy to help out during this difficult time.
“I felt amazing. Just knowing that they had a house, they lost a house, now they have somebody, the house is two bedrooms, full kitchen, full bath, everything, so they have something to fall back on,” DeLeonardis said.
From all the families DeLeonardis and his friends knew about, they randomly selected 12, each of which received an RV.
“I heard there was a barbecue on the beach. And they said, “Debbie, you have to go there. There is a rally and they are going. I don’t know, they will give something out.” I didn’t know what it was. But in any case, so we got together my husband. Now he was terrible. He is grumpy. He’s sitting in the car, Debra said.
Debra and Billy’s next steps are to move the van to her place, salvage what they can of their belongings, and start living in it.