History of Benison Center

Benison Center was established in 2017, shortly after Hurricane Irma disrupted many lives. We saw the need to provide long-term assistance to the community of Immokalee, FL. Whenever a gap exists between people and their basic needs, we are here to act as a bridge. Also, when companies have excess products, we ensure that they are put to good use.

James Orlando, a member of World Vision's Global Rapid Response team (GRRT) delivers a donated food to Rev. Lori Snell at Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church that prepares hot meals to serve on the street.

World Vision staff and Bethel Assemblies of God Church volunteers in Immokalee, Florida distribute disaster relief supplies after Hurricane Irma. 

Volunteers carried, counted, sorted, and stacked every item and handed them out — even as they themselves were just as affected by the storm as the neighbors they served.

“This is good,” says Manuel, the church landscaper. “What you (World Vision) have done for us is more than all the things you brought.” Manuel himself has slept on the floor at the church since the storm because there’s still water standing in his trailer.

More than 50 people left cleaning their own houses and yards, in some cases dedicating most of two days to making life a little less difficult for others. “They came, worked hard, and thanked us for the opportunity to contribute,” Pastor Frank Rincon says. 

About 350 families — 1,900 individual lives received the donations. 

Hurricane Irma hit Florida as a Category 4 storm on September 10, ripping off roofs, flooding coastal cities, and knocking out power to more than 6.8 million people. 

The storm and its aftermath has killed at least 38 in the Caribbean, 34 in Florida, three in Georgia, four in South Carolina, and one in North Carolina.

Through prepositioned warehouse items World Vision is responding with multiple semi-trucks of relief supplies to families in Immokalee, Florida that will be distributed through local churches. 

Supplies include food, clothes, bottled water, hygiene kits, sleeping bags, coolers, towels, flood/disaster clean-up kits (muck-out kits), cleaning supplies, generators, water filters and mosquito blankets. 

See published stories:
* https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-response-news-stories/hurricane-irma-relief-churches-bring-hope-surv

Dedicated to Social Responsibility

Our role is to spread millions of dollars’ worth of donated products to nonprofit agencies, churches, and schools throughout Southwest Florida. Because of this resourceful program, more than 50 nonprofit agencies are better equipped to serve an area where nearly 44 percent of men, women, and children live below the poverty line.

Our center assists our partners in serving people at the heart of the community—mothers, fathers, single elderly people, and more. We help them distribute basic goods, such as personal care items, diapers, cleaning supplies, and housewares. For a nominal access fee to our warehouse, agencies and churches that participate in our “Gift in Kind” program will receive various materials. These materials strengthen their ability to provide worthwhile services and programs.

Our Affiliations

Benison Center is proud to be a World Vision Satellite Distribution Center. One of our major partners, World Vision, is a global, Christian humanitarian organization. Because of our alliance with them, we are in a prime position to serve our communities better and help every family reach its full potential.

Apart from World Vision, we have also established partnerships with Living Hungry and Farm Share. Living Hungry utilizes a hands-on approach in its battle against hunger. Meanwhile, Farm Share distributes surplus food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and churches.

Testimonials

Clara Calderon

Principal of Immokalee High School

“The Benison Center is a beacon of hope for the Immokalee community. Mr. Frank Rincon and his ministry have taken on the challenge of providing the Immokalee community with a place that will continually supply and meet the needs of teachers, students, and families. On behalf of our students and faculty, we are eternally grateful for their support.”

Dawn Montecalvo

President of Guadalupe Center

“The Benison Center provides our Guadalupe students and families with much-needed items necessary for daily living. Whenever something is needed, we know we can call the Benison Center. Their staff graciously provides us the needed items with a smile. They have also given items to our Early Learning Center, which provides our students with additional educational opportunities. The Benison Center is a blessing to our community and allows us to share our resources.”

Gayane Stepanian

Executive Director of RCMA

"The Benison Center couldn't have opened its doors at a more critical time in Immokalee. Five months after Hurricane Irma, thousands of families still struggle to meet the bare necessities. In a community that is reliant on agriculture, work became intermittent after the storm. RCMA applauds the vision to have a distribution center that seeks, receives, and redistributes donations to help those most in need!"

Abel Jaimes

Director of Title I

“The Benison Center is exactly what our Immokalee community needed. The center is making an immediate difference! Our schools are utilizing the resources provided to address students' basic needs.”

Joy Alvarez

Principal of Lake Trafford Elementary School

“Not only has the Benison Center provided relief to the students and families of Lake Trafford Elementary immediately after Hurricane Irma, but sponsors of the Benison Center realize the long-lasting hardships of some families and, therefore, continue the support. Thank you Benison Center for having a heart for LTE students and all of Immokalee!”