Dealing with a tragedy can be overwhelming for any family.

“At the end of the day, they’re taking it day by day. And sometimes minute by minute,” said Cara Jahnke with Operation Lotus.

What You Need To Know

That’s why the non-profit organization is mobilizing now — to help the families of a father and toddler who were swept away last week by a current last week off Apollo Beach.

As a mom to a young son herself, when Jahnke heard about the drowning death of 37-year-old Janosh Purackal and his four-year-old, she knew Operation Lotus needed to help.

“Knowing that we’ve got a mom, a wife, with a young baby who is really just trying to come out with some sense of hope at the end of the day, and our community is just amazing with bringing that piece together,” Jahnke said.

“As little as it may seem to some of us, it’s massive to somebody when they’re able to say, ‘Hey I’m able to take care of this, and I can move on and see the next day.’”

Jahnke has been on the board of the nonprofit since it began nearly a decade ago. Operation Lotus collects donations for families to help with any needs they may have — specifically, burial costs — but the help goes beyond financial needs.

“I hope that when we do pass that donation off to the family, that they’re able to have a sense of relief,” Jahnke said.

If you’d like to help, you can donate to Operation Lotus with:

Janke says to note all donations with “Apollo Beach.”