College student raises money for survivors of Hurricane Irma wit - WNEM TV 5

College student raises money for survivors of Hurricane Irma with bracelets

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Recovery efforts continue in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Utility crews are scrambling to restore power to more than four million people in Florida alone, where temperatures are sweltering and restoration is crucial in the recovery effort.

The generosity of folks in Mid-Michigan also continues to shine with a number of people looking for ways they can help those affected by the massive storm.

"When I saw what happened I was completely devastated,” Sydney Hollis said.

When Hollis isn't working at the Coffee Beanery, she spends her time off the clock helping others. Hollis is trying to raise money for residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The area was hit hard by Hurricane Irma as the storm tore through the Atlantic.

“It was a Category 5 hurricane and it takes super long for them to recover there,” Hollis said.

Hollis is making bracelets to raise money for the recovery effort. She visits the Virgin Islands every year. It's a place that's near and dear to her heart.

“It's just so devastating to see these people like that. And they rely heavily on tourism there. So, when these restaurants and these gift shops are getting knocked down people aren't going to want to go to the islands so where are they going to get money to recover?" Hollis said.

Hollis’ best friend said the bracelets are a must-have item.

"I know that I’ve gotten a few bracelets and they're awesome. And they're a great gift and the money just also helps,” Alli Stelter said.

If you’d like a bracelet, visit Hollis’ Instagram account. Once there, send her a direct message. She’ll talk to you about how you want your custom-made bracelet designed.

Then, she’ll take the money from the online purchase and donate it directly to a GoFundMe page for the Virgin Islands.

So far, she has raised $250, but she would like to see that figure grow much higher.

“It's really my second home so seeing those people struggle really hurts my heart. And it just means so much when my friends donate and when people I don't even know donate. Because it means something to know that other people care about them too,” Hollis said.

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