Melody White saw the plight of those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and wanted to help.
The Highland School senior started a relief effort last week, collecting donations of nonperishable food and blankets at Unity Baptist Church in Culpeper.
“I feel like the people in Florida have cried out for help and I feel that we could send help that way,” White said. “Just come together as a community and help them out.”
The church, located at 509 S. Main St. #151 in Culpeper, is accepting donations through Oct. 5. After the donations are collected, the Salvation Army from Manassas will be delivering them to two shelter sites – Horizon Middle School and Miami Carroll City High School.
White researched the shelters online and then reached out to the school districts herself to see what they needed. She then contacted the Salvation Army, when she realized her mom and dad wouldn’t let her drive the donations herself.
“At first I was sitting back, thinking that I can’t take it myself, I thought about a different way to get the goods shipped to them and it led me to the Salvation Army,” White said.
She said she has received a great early response from the community and the church’s pastor Rev. Leonard Morton Jr. She’s also used the connections her father, Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office deputy and school resource officer at Emerald Hill Elementary School Melvin White. She connected with EHE principal Pam Gatewood through her dad and the school is helping donate.
“To me it sends a good message that you do really have some great people here in Culpeper,” White said.
She will be accepting donations through Oct. 5 and for more information visit her Facebook page at HurricaneIrmareliefva or email firstname.lastname@example.org.