Cards to the Bahamas: Local children are doing their part

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Out at the Houston County Farm Center, volunteers are working to provide aid to a country more than 600 miles away.

One of many cards made by children in various schools and organizations throughout the Wiregrass to comfort victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Along with the toothbrushes and canned goods will come an authentic Wiregrass touch; cards, filled with pictures and hand-written notes from children across the Wiregrass.

"You know we can't go down there ourselves to help them out. We feel like if you write a card it helps people," said Dothan Preparatory 7th grader Jaylan Hill.

For students, it was a teaching moment.

"Any time we can teach kids that being a good citizen is not just knowing how our government works, but is actually getting involved in our local schools and communities. If we all do that we can to really make our schools and communities and indeed the world a better place for everyone," explained Dothan Preparatory teacher Sam Davis.

For some, it could be mystifying why this community is so motivated to help a country that is so far away.

7th grader Leilani Anderson remembers how she felt going through Hurricane Michael last year and hopes her cards, in which she relates her own experience, will help someone through their time of uncertainty.

"It was rough, but we made it through," Anderson said with a smile, "other people stepped in to help. That's what I say in the letter, it's going to be ok. You have that support that you need and other people will help you."

Perhaps this community, who still remembers all too vividly the devastation a hurricane brings, understands how much of a difference caring can make.

"All of it at one time, it causes depression, a lot of stress, anxiety," described Paul Wright, who helped organize the relief drive and has been through two natural disasters himself, "when you get something small it kinda uplifts you and gives you a smile on your face, that means a lot to a lot of people."

The Dorian relief drive was originally supposed to end Wednesday, but due to the number of donations they've received, they've extended the deadline to Thursday at 2:00 pm. They are asking for volunteers, as well as the following items to complete their care packages:

-personal- sized hand sanitizer
-personal-sized bottles of mouthwash
-headbands/elastic hair ties
-decks of cards
-small candles