Hurricane Maria has devastated the country of Puerto Rico. It has been a month since Hurricane Maria made landfall. Today, 82% of families are still without power and over 50% are still without basic necessities. Here in Hardee County, our community was lucky enough to survive the wrath of Hurricane Irma. From that event, our youth learned that it takes people helping people to recover from natural disasters such as Hurricanes. The UF/IFAS Extension Hardee County Office decided to hold a donation drive to provide hurricane relief to the people of Puerto Rico. We also made a small wager of a pizza party to see which 4-H club could bring in the most goods in one week.
Putting the 4-H Pledge into Action
Without hesitation, our 4-H youth showed us what it means when they pledge their hands to larger service. In just seven days we were able to raise over $9,100 in supplies for Puerto Rico. The buck did not just stop with our 4-H youth however, Hardee County as a whole came together to show their support for the wonderful people in Puerto Rico. There were churches that came and donated their extra supplies and even families who are not involved in the 4-H program but happened to come across our flyer on Facebook. I think I am still in shock of what our small but generous community of 27,000 people were able to accomplish in SEVEN DAYS!
Donations included over 10 pallets of water, 54 boxes of Diapers, 63 cases of juice, and over 55 large boxes of miscellaneous food and personal hygiene products. We also had wonderful volunteers that spent over 18 hours sorting, boxing and delivering the goods to Tampa, Florida. This just goes to show what kind of difference we can make when we work together to make the best better.
If you are interested in donating to help Puerto Rico, please consider these resources: Unidos por Puerto Rico: http://www.unidosporpuertorico.com/en/ or Unicef: https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/support-unicef-usas-hurricane-relief-efforts-puerto-rico/32952
For more information about Hardee County 4-H Projects: https://www.facebook.com/HardeeCounty4h/