Kid Power

Rais­ing money for vic­tims of dis­as­ters

RSWLiving - - Contents -

It’s sur­pris­ing what kids can ac­com­plish with the sup­port of par­ents. Case in point: Kids Care Dis­as­ter Re­lief. When Hur­ri­cane Michael dev­as­tated Mex­ico Beach and tore through com­mu­ni­ties in North­west Florida on Oc­to­ber 10, 2018, 7th grader Kristina Pod­lasek had flashbacks to Hur­ri­cane Irma that caused havoc in Southwest Florida in Septem­ber 2017. She not only re­mem­bered the storm’s wrath and liv­ing in one room with a gen­er­a­tor for weeks, but how it af­fected peo­ple, leav­ing them in need of so many things be­yond im­me­di­ate food, cloth­ing and shel­ter.

Kristina to­gether with five of her class­mates at Can­ter­bury School in Fort My­ers came up with the idea to cre­ate and sell band-style sil­i­cone bracelets with Hur­ri­cane Michael printed on the out­side and the storm’s co­or­di­nates on the in­side. They chose blue, the color of wa­ter, to rep­re­sent the huge surge that wiped out Mex­ico Beach.

It didn’t take any con­vinc­ing for Kristina’s par­ents Elke and Bryan Pod­lasek to sup­port her newly formed Kids Care Dis­as­ter Re­lief. Their Is­land Cow restau­rant on Sani­bel be­came the first spon­sor, pur­chas­ing 3,000 bracelets to help launch the non­profit.

“The things you take for granted are gone,” says Kristina about how hur­ri­canes and other dis­as­ters change your life. “If we all work to­gether, we can make a dif­fer­ence.” Ded­i­cated to the mis­sion of build­ing a chil­dren’s net­work through­out the United States to raise money and help those af­fected by cur­rent and fu­ture na­tional dis­as­ters, Kristina en­listed her class­mates

The Kids Care Dis­as­ter Re­lief team re­ceive sup­port for their project from the Bank of the Is­lands on Sani­bel. Front row: Kat Sanders, Maya Shus­ter, Kristina Pod­lasek and Willy Oca­sio, the bank’s vice pres­i­dent & of­fice man­ager. Back row: El­lie Ap­pel­gren, Olivia Hoy, Colin Cam­bell and Su­san Schulte, teller ser vices rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

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