FIU football team joins in bringing storm relief to Keys

Thursday, November 2, 2017 0 Comments

FIU football team joins in bringing storm relief to Keys

Last month, Hurricane Irma forced Florida International University’s football team, along with more than 100 student-athletes from the college, to evacuate and they all relocated to Birmingham, Alabama.

A week after the storm, which left South Florida in its path of destruction, the Panthers found themselves helping to brighten the day of some Monroe County special needs evacuees who made their way from the storm-ravaged Florida Keys.

The Panthers joined members of the U.S. Public Health Service, and Monroe County Fire and Rescue, in assisting in any way possible. Mostly, however, the players biggest asset was simply lifting the spirits of the evacuees, with simple conversation and taking the resident's minds off the destruction that awaits them in the Keys.

During Hurricane Irma, FIU provided shelter to more than 500 Monroe County evacuees, including 139 persons with special needs. Managed by Monroe County, the Florida Department of Health, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. Public Health Services, the shelter at the university's Wellness & Recreation Center, and later the Ocean Bank Convocation Center and PG6, became their temporary home. 

And it was not only athletes making an impact, but students and staff assisted the less fortunate as well. Jazz students, members of the FIU Marching Band and the Amernet String Quartet performed for them. Later in the week a group of voice students performed children's songs. These performances brought some to tears and inspired others to show immense gratitude.

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