Kids at Naples shelter collecting donations for Hurricane Michael victims

Kids staying at an emergency shelter in Naples are doing something special for hurricane victims.

Youth Haven shelters children from 6-18 years old who have been removed from their homes by the Department of Children and Families due to abuse, neglect, abandonment and other bad situations.

Despite these children having very few possessions to their name, they feel empathy for those struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and they wanted to help.

“I just want them to know that no matter what you’re not alone,” said Orriana Jean-Denis, a 19-year-old Youth Haven resident from Haiti. “I’m grateful that I can help them.”

That’s why they have been collecting donations around Southwest Florida, sometimes emptying the money in their own pockets into the jar.

After all, many of the kids know what it feels like to live through a hurricane.

“We experienced Hurricane Irma last year and it was pretty devastating,” said Jinx Liggett, Youth Haven’s Executive Director. “We had no water, we had no sewer and we had electric so were given an incredible amount of support by a generous community.”

They will be sending the donations they collect along with personalized cards and relief supplies up north to areas hit hard by the storm.

“They’re learning to give back, not just to take, even though what they’ve experience is pretty horrific as a youngster but that’s why they’re here,” Liggett said.

So over the next few days, these children, who would be homeless without Youth Haven, will continue to collect donations to send north.

You can learn more about Youth Haven HERE. 

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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