MILTON — Hobbs Middle School Student Government Association has stepped up to help victims of Hurricaine Michael.
On Nov. 12 the school began a blanket drive for hurricane relief efforts. In a Nov. 2 Facebook post, Florida Representative Jayer Williamson asked if people or organizations would donate blankets for the affected area. Inspired, SGA president, Whitney Peloke and SGA sponsor, Cindy Smith put out the challenge to all SGA members to turn in at least one blanket.
"The response was overwhelming," Sandy Peloke, Whitney's mother and health services specialist for Early Learning Coalition of Santa Rosa said. "By Friday over 200 blankets had been collected."
On Nov. 19 SGA officers went to Port St. Joe to deliver the blankets.
"As we arrived, a call had come in that 10 students at the local high school were in desperate need for a blanket," Peloke said. "Our students were very humbled by the response of how much a blanket could mean to someone. As we made our drive back home through Mexico Beach everyone was overcome with emotion."
In a Facebook post, Whitney said, "As we were driving down Panama City today, all I could think was 'this could have been us'. For all the kids out there saying 'I wish we would have got some damage so we wouldn’t have to go to school' you don’t know what the kids living in Panama City feel like, loosing (sic) their homes, maybe loosing (sic) family, furniture."
Whitney said the students saw houses on the beach that had nothing but stilts left. Students aren't worried about school, Whitney said, but finding food, shelter and warmth. She saw a family on the side of the road with their arms wrapped around each other, she said, looking at what they used to call home.
"I never want to experience what is going on in this town," she said. "It is unbelievable."