With an $80,000 donation at hand, the Monroe County Education Foundation has started a relief fund for the School District’s teachers and students.
They can tap the relief fund to replace items lost during Hurricane Irma that government aid and insurance won’t replace, said Bryan Green, the foundation’s board president.
“Many are now struggling in temporary or severely damaged homes,” said Green. “Some students have lost school clothing and text books and all are faced with the practical and psychological effects of the storm.”
About 100 teachers are displaced and without a home, according to initial reports by the district, while more than 200 students are living in temporary housing and more than 100 have moved out of the district.
The $80,000 donation came from the Edward B. and Joan T. Knight Foundation.
Green said the need for access to resources long-term for teachers and students is great. The fund will also provide counseling and additional tutoring for students who need help.
The foundation was created in 1996 as a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational experiences of students within Monroe County. For information or to make a donation, visit http://www.monroecountyedfound.com/.
Post-Irma, donations have been arriving in the Keys from across the county.
The Skechers shoe company has donated 2,500 pairs of shoes and 5,000 socks, all handed out to displaced Monroe County students as part of an Irma relief event held by Farm Share, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating hunger in the state.
The shoes and socks were delivered to Farm Share’s warehouse in Homestead, and then brought down Friday morning to Coral Shores High School. Students at Coral Shores and Plantation Key School received the footwear.
After identifying the need for footwear for students in the Florida Keys, Farm Share, with the help of its longstanding partners Neighbors 4 Neighbors and Delivering Good, continued its relief efforts by teaming up with Skechers.
Farm Share has also brought several semi-trucks of food and other supplies to multiple islands in the Florida Keys, including 172,513 pounds of canned foods, snacks, toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, blankets, office supplies, and fresh, Florida-grown produce, the organization said through a spokeswoman.
“Our team has been diligently working post-Irma to provide more than two million pounds of free food, furniture, toiletries, and other supplies to those who suffered damage, both financially and emotionally, around Florida,” says Patricia Robbins, CEO of Farm Share.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen