Appleton girl organizes hurricane relief effort for Naples, Florida

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) - The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida has left thousands of people wanting for so many basic needs. But as Local 5 found out one Appleton girl with Florida connections is organizing a special event to provide a helping hand.

As Hurricane Irma came on shore in Florida, Molly Brinkhoff kept a close eye on the storm, worried of how it would impact Naples, the city where she grew up and many friends still live.

“It was really scary, hurricanes, they can be awful and I didn't know if their houses would be destroyed,” said Brinkhoff.

Ten years ago Brinkhoff's family moved to Wisconsin. But this Appleton North High School senior has never forgotten her former home, where many are now hurting.

“I have friends there that are basically family to me and I see how much they are struggling. I just want to help out as much as I can in any way,” Brinkhoff said.

So Brinkhoff - in just 48 hours - organized a hurricane relief drive for the city of Naples.

“Items like water bottles, batteries and non-perishable food,” Brinkhoff said.

Using skills she learned through the Willems Student Marketing program at Appleton North.

“I've worked with her the past three years and Molly has always been a self-starter,” said Cyndi Pavelski, a teacher at Appleton North.

Brinkhoff and fellow students designed flyers, placed collection bins, found a trucking company to donate a semi and a driver to take donations to Naples and a church willing to serve as a collection site this coming weekend.

“It says Northeast Wisconsin really cares about people,”said Pastor Adam Demetrician of Pathways Church in Appleton. “We've all been glued to the TV, we've all seen the devastation and I think it’s good people like Wisconsinites that are going to say get involved.

“Give them an opportunity to start rebuilding their lives,” Brinkhoff said.

In a city and state - torn apart by Hurricane Irma.

Items for the hurricane relief drive for Naples, Florida - can be dropped off at Pathways Church located at 311 W. Evergreen Drive in Appleton:

*Saturday, September 16 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

*Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. 


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