Hi. My name is Sophie Gigante. I’m a junior at Columbia High School and proud winner of the NJ Governor's Jefferson Award for public service. When I saw the destruction in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017, I was heartbroken because I have family and friends who live there. Nearly 1 million residents were left without power and thousands lost everything they had. To help kids in the poorest parts of the island, I held a donation drive in 2018, placing drop boxes in 5 local elementary schools, libraries, and fitness clubs in my community, to collect new and gently used athletic gear. The community really stepped up! I collected more than 200 baseballs, bats, gloves, helmets, soccer balls, basketballs, uniforms, and cleats that I packaged and shipped to the hardest hit Boys and Girls Club on the island – in Bayamon.
I separately raised nearly $2,300 (and counting) through this GoFundMe campaign and used 100 percent of the proceeds to purchase additional new recreational equipment and healthy snacks, that I delivered personally to the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico when I went down to volunteer over spring break in 2018. But the work is not done. The Boys and Girls Club, a vital after-school resource for at-risk youth, is still in desperate need of equipment and healthy snacks.
I am still collecting donations from friends, family, and local business owners today and need your help! Together we can make a difference.
2018: Delivering recreational gear, toys, batteries and water to residents in Humacao, Puerto Rico who were still without power nine months after Hurricane Maria.
The volunteer group we teamed up with in Puerto Rico. Such a great experience!
Thank you so much for any support you can give!!
- Carmen Johnson
- Sparkhouse Casaren
- Gary and Meg Basinski
- Judy Schwartz
- Jessie Gonon
Organizer and beneficiary
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