Miami Sports Day

COMMUNITY: FIU Gives a Little Relief to Monroe County Hurricane Irma Evacuees

MIAMI – Almost two weeks ago members of the FIU football team, along with over 100 student-athletes from eight FIU athletics programs, relocated to Birmingham, Alabama, due to the wrath of Hurricane Irma. The Panthers found themselves to be evacuees.

On Monday, several members of the football team helped to brighten the day of some Monroe County special needs evacuees who made their way from the devastation of the 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 safety to more than 500 Monroe County evacuees, including 139 human beings with special needs.

Managed by Monroe County, the Florida Department of Health, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. Public Health Service, 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 athletics making an impact, but students and staff assisted the less fortunate as well.

Throughout this week, they have stepped in numerous times to lift the spirits of the evacuees. 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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