WSVN pairs up with local organizations to bring relief to Irma victims

Craig Stevens

(WSVN) – People across South Florida are sticking together, as many lend a helping hand to those hit hardest by Hurricane Irma.

Local organizations like WSVN’s relief partner, Feeding South Florida, are working to get much needed supplies to the Florida Keys.

“It’s just really important for everyone to know that help is on the way,” said Sari Vatske, with Feeding South Florida. “The Navy and Army are airlifting supplies – They’re bringing supplies in by sea. Our folks are working hard to make sure people have what they need.”

Channel 7 joined in the recovery efforts, Wednesday, donating $100,000 to kickstart the Irma Relief Fund.

“We want to give $100,000 to start this campaign,” said WSVN Executive Vice President and General Manager, Bob Leider, “and we urge other businesses and people to donate, because all of this money is going right to the Irma fund.”

Another business came to the rescue, lending a much needed generator to the organization in order to keep food fresh as long as the power is out.

John Ruiz, the founder of MSP Recovery, answered the call after seeing the story air on 7News. “I think it’s a very important concept,” “Even though we’re all going through our own personal, you know problems – we don’t have power and we need water – still, it’s always important to know and understand that there are always people that need more than you do.”

“It’s a testament, not only to Channel 7 for putting out the plea for us, but also John, who’s been so generous not only with his time, his resources but also with the generator,” said Paco Velez, with Feeding South Florida. “To come here and donate this to make sure that our cooler is up and running, to get fresh produce and other meat items out to our families.”

Other were also inspired to help the victims of Irma get back on their feet. Viewers, Cynthia Lopez-Badilla and her family, made a special delivery to the offices of Channel 7. “We saw the news report yesterday, of you know people that were in the Keys, how much they needed this,” she said. “You know, we’re just trying to do our part.”

Her family, still without power themselves, decided to give up some of their own hurricane supplies to help others. “We know people need it,” she said. “We see how bad they really need it, and I know they need it more than we do right now.”

Lopez-Badilla’s two young children also lent a helping hand, piling essentials into a car headed for Feeding South Florida. “I got the tissues” said Hugo. “Toilet paper, a lot of water, soap, toothbrushes. I want people to stay alive.”

She hopes that sharing this act of kindness with her children will replace their fears with hope – a valuable lesson in helping others in need.

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