Teen Group Keeps Up Sandy Relief Efforts - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Teen Group Keeps Up Sandy Relief Efforts

Updated: Nov 18, 2012 11:12 PM CST

     Nearly three weeks after superstorm Sandy hit, many on the East coast are still picking up the pieces.  Many in our area are still reaching out to help get relief to those in need, including a group of local teenagers wanting to continue that support.
     Images of the storm's devastation got people all over taking action. In Muscatine, a group of teens formed recently has a mission to make things better both in their community and wherever people are struggling. They hoped to make a difference this weekend one cookie or cupcake at a time.
     Camped outside Walmart in Muscatine Sunday a handful of teens got shoppers attention with a bake sale with proceeds going to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief efforts. From pies to angel food cake, some of the goodies were homemade and others donated by the local HyVee. The teens are a newly formed organization called "It Only Gets Better."
     "It started out as an anti-bullying group because in 7th grade I was bullied a lot and it really made me feel bad about myself and I was low on self confidence," said 14-year old Brady Holliday.
     But Holliday gained confidence and was motivated to turn things around for himself and others. "Now we're helping the community and that's what I wanted it to be in the beginning."
     Donning their own T-shirts and bracelets the teens aim to reach beyond their own area. They say they were deeply touched by the stories from superstorm Sandy. Today they still feel sad knowing that still more than 1,900 people in New York and New Jersey are spending the night in shelters.
     "It made me feel like I couldn't do anything. We tried doing something else like donations clothes, laundry detergent, soap, and tried to get donations but Red Cross can't send it out there," said Eastlin Hahn, also part of the group.
     In just a few hours the teens raised more than $300 from the bake sale. That money is something the Red Cross can use and it will go straight to help provide meals, shelter and emotional support to victims.
     "They say they're glad we're doing this. They're glad we're helping out, the town needs it," said Hahn of the response from many of the shoppers.
     Holliday also say he thinks it's important to keep sending that help even as the weeks go by. "We feel as if we can make a difference so we're starting with small things and getting bigger and bigger."
     Red Cross relief efforts have so far served more than six million meals and snacks. Volunteers have also distributed more than two million relief items such as clean-up kits and hygiene kits. Knowing there's so much more to be done the kids are also planning a school dance to raise donations.
     Nearly 9,000 red cross workers have been deployed from all 50 states to operations from North Carolina to Rhode Island, with the majority still in greater New York and throughout New Jersey.


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