In response to recent natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Pass It Along completed its Hurricane Relief Collection on December 4. The items, collected by businesses and members of the community, will be delivered by Alex Garcia of the Puerto Rico Donation Programs to families in need Puerto Rico and by the Christian Faith Fellowship Church to families affected by Hurricane Harvey. In total, Pass It Along collected items to help over 100 families in need.

Items were collected by members of the community and local businesses, including Thorlabs, 13 Lakeland Bank branches in Sussex and Morris counties, Inspired Life, Boy Scout Troop 173 and Cub Scout Pack #142 of Parsippany, Anthony Riccardi of Stanhope and the Pass It Along clubs at High Point Regional High School and Wallkill Valley Regional High School. The collection was launched in August in response to the recent natural disasters.

“As soon as I learned about the hurricanes and the devastation caused, I knew that the Pass It Along family would be compelled to send aid to those affected,” said Anna Gundersen, Program Manager at Pass It Along. “I was very inspired by the overwhelming participation in this hurricane relief collection throughout our community."

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The collected items were delivered to Puerto Rico by Alex Garcia, founder of the PR Donation Program. Located in Augusta, N.J., the PR Donation Program identifies specific families to send items tailored to their needs, including food, clothing and other supplies. Items were collected from Sussex County by Pass It Along Volunteer AJ Salves.

“The PR Donation Program began when we saw the need due to the devastation on of Puerto Rico and other islands. Having access to direct channels from Puerto Rico, we saw the true picture and needs of families. This Program was developed as an act of love and desire to help without seeking recognition of any kind,” said Alex Garcia. “As the list of families needing help grew, we decided to seek donations from other sources, as we knew that it was the only way we could continue to help the families. Thanks to the generosity of Pass It Along, other organization and a Gofundme account, we were able to send out another 50 boxes.”

To date, the PR Donation Program has shipped approximately 170 boxes to over 50 families. The PR Donation Program is still accepting donations to cover shipping costs of the remaining boxes. For more information on the PR Donation Program, visit facebook.com/prdonationprogram or email arisdora@hotmail.com.

About Pass It Along

Pass It Along is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Sparta, N.J. Pass It Along's mission is to build confident, resilient, compassionate teenagers through self-discovery, volunteer and leadership opportunities. By participating in the Pass It Along program, teenagers gain a strong sense of self, learn about the positive effects of helping others and are equipped to avoid risky behaviors. Thank you to our Transformational Sponsors, including Thorlabs, the Orthopedic Institute of NJ and Brazill Brothers and Associates.  For more information and to view all of our programs we have to offer, please visit www.passitalong.org