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hurricane michael relief efforts

Hurricane Michael Relief Efforts: Rebuilding Northwest Florida

News

Since Category 5 Hurricane Michael devastated Northwest Florida, the physical damage is still obvious, but the trauma is hidden just below the surface.

John Legend shares how your Red Nose Day donations funded Hurricane Michael relief efforts, and what more can be done:

Seven months following Hurricane Michael, the residents of Northwest Florida are still recovering from its impact.

Here we meet 15-year old Sara and her mom at their former home, which is now uninhabitable. “There was one minute, I actually thought I was going to die.” says Sara.

Many families here are still struggling to make sure they have enough to eat. At a nearby church, a food bank is handing out food for those in need. Unfortunately, only the first 300 families can be served. The rest will have to wait.

Even before Hurricane Michael devastated the area, an estimated 1 in 5 children in Northwest Florida were not getting adequate nutrition.

While the storm was a destructive force of nature, people like Leslie, the Executive Director of a local Boys & Girls Club, is helping children impacted by the storm change their story for good.

“I love these children, these are my babies,” says Leslie. “Many of our kids, if they don’t have access to food through school, they don’t have anything.”

But even with the hardship, it’s difficult to keep these kids down.

On top of the Monday through Friday programs, volunteers fill bags for the days when the kids would otherwise go without.

Once again, Leslie explains how they work on providing the kids what they need.

“Even on the weekends, we provide them with backpacks [filled with food] and these are bags they can take home, so even when they’re not at The Boys and Girls Club, they still have access to some type of complete meal. It’s heartbreaking, you want to cry, but you want to be strong for the little children.”

Some of the kids might go hungry if it wasn’t for this Red Nose Day funded program.

A Boys and Girls Club volunteer explains the situation as she sees it. “I see desperation and I see hope. I think that they are hopeful that someone will reach out and help them,“ she says.

Once again, Leslie puts it into perspective. “Somebody has to, everybody can’t turn a blind eye to someone else's child. These are our children. Yes, we might not have had them, we might not even know them, but they all belong to us.”

Every day throughout the United States, there are kids going hungry. By supporting Red Nose Day, you’re ensuring that children who need our help most are safe, healthy, and educated. Donate Now

Learn more about our crisis response and disaster recovery efforts here.

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