According to Time magazine, the death toll from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, was at least 103, with an estimated $200 billion in damages. That makes 2017 the worst year for hurricanes since Katrina and friends (including Dennis and Rita) blew through in 2005.
In the wake of the devastation, Americans have come together to help. Former Presidents and big companies like Apple and Verizon have made headlines pledging millions to the disaster relief, but it’s not only corporations that are pitching in. A small group of middle school students in Rye, New York, recently came up with their own way to contribute.
Middle School Students Bake to Raise Funds for Hurricane Relief
Mira Chaffin and her friends—Olivia, Katie, Alexis, and Skye—were moved by the struggles they saw playing out in the news as the hurricanes passed through Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. It was tempting to feel helpless since they were so far away, but they refused to do nothing, and put their heads together to form a plan.
What could they do? Their end goal was to raise money they could send to “One America Appeal,” a relief effort launched by all five living former American presidents. “America’s at her best when against all odds, we come together and lift each other up,” said former President Bill Clinton on a joint video put out by the five former Presidents.
The girls admired what the presidents were doing, and wanted to participate. As middle school students, though, they didn’t have much of their own money to give. That meant they needed to raise it, somehow. As they discussed how they could do that, one thing came up they could all agree one—everyone loves yummy treats and slime!
So, they decided they would bake treats and make a bunch of slime to sell. When they had them ready, they ran a bake sale and slime sale, offering brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and other various treats, as well as lemonade and slime punches and juices, which were particularly popular among their peers in the community.
The students took in a total of $750, and were excited to turn around and give the entire amount to One America Appeal.
Chaffin Luhana Foundation Matches Bake Sale Total
Eric Chaffin, co-founder of Chaffin Luhana, the Chaffin Luhana Foundation, and proud father of one of the students, Mira Chaffin, watched the girls’ efforts, and was amazed at the work they put into the project.
“These girls spent hours in the kitchen making these goods, and then more time and effort putting together and carrying off the sale,” he said. “And they did it all without concern for personal gain. This was all about helping others, and participating in a countrywide effort to assist our fellow citizens. My wife Katherine and I were so proud of them—we all were—so of course we wanted to match their efforts.”
The Chaffin Luhana Foundation matched the $750 the girls raised, and sent the total to One America Appeal. Families of the other girls are also making donations. They encourage others to give what they can to this worthy cause, as there is still so much to do.
As of the beginning of October, more than half of Puerto Rico was still without drinking water, and only five percent had electric power. Texas mayors in the communities most affected by Harvey say recovery will take several years, and in Florida, though most people have recovered power, houses, apartment buildings and motels lie in ruins.
“You can’t change the reality and the reality is we were hit with two Category 5 hurricanes in 12 days,” said U.S. Virgin Islands Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter. “It is a painful reality, but we have to look for the silver lining as we move forward and rebuild.”
Photos From the Bake Sale