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Lehigh Acres groups encourage neighbors to submit info for 2020 census

Even with a pandemic, a Lee County community wants to be sure they don’t lose out on millions of federal dollars.

A long line of cars formed a parade Saturday as the latest push by community members to ensure everyone in Lehigh Acres gets counted during the 2020 U.S. Census.

Lehigh Acres Fire Department led the parade through neighborhoods during the afternoon. The fire department used its loudspeaker to make sure everyone in the neighborhoods heard the message loud and clear: You count, and the community needs your participation in the census.

It’s something that could mean millions of dollars for schools, hospitals and other community initiatives.

The Lehigh Complete Count Committee organized the parade that included concerned citizens, law enforcement and other groups to ride through Lehigh Acres neighborhoods, which have historically low census participation.

The committee says it normally goes door-to-door to hand out flyers and hold a block party to raise awareness of the census. But, this year, the committee members are using signs and speakers to spread the word, all while keeping a safe distance in their cars.

They say Lehigh Complete Count Committee’s whole purpose is to get an accurate count for their community to get the funding that matches for things such as FEMA, veteran services, senior services and education.

“Every individual counts, whether it’s the tiniest little baby or the oldest person in the household,” organizer Gwynetta Gittens said. “Everyone counts, and it means that we get federal funding, federal grants, all the things to help us be a better community.”

Event organizers are emphasizing that it is not too late for community members to participate in the census. You have until mid-August to go to Census.gov to fill out the form.

MORE: 2020 U.S. Census 

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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