When Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and Louisiana in 2017, it also brought catastrophic flooding. Like most Americans, Alexis Maureau and Jordana Carmona saw the apocalyptic scenes in the Houston area on the news. The two longtime friends in Margate, Florida decided they needed to do something to help. They decided they will would fill up a large van with donated essential items like diapers, hygiene items, bottled water, clothing and food, and then drive to Houston so that the donated items would go directly to people in need. To cover the costs they set up a GoFundMe page and raised $2,300.
“We could not sit by and do nothing. We knew there were going to be organizations helping but we wanted to take action,” Maureau said. “We wanted to make sure that donated items were getting directly to the people who need them the most.”
FCC in the News: Margate Food Drive
The experience was a powerful one for the two women, who decided that they wanted to continue to help others.
“The feeling we got from that trip changed us. We felt a sense of purpose. A calling to do more,” Maureau added. “We wanted to do more projects, so we worked to help single moms with groceries later that year and a couple of other smaller efforts. We were funding these out of our own pockets and we realized that we could not afford to help as many people as our hearts wanted.”
The crusading duo eventually formed a nonprofit organization called the “100 People Project” with the goal of helping at least 100 people every year, in their spare time when not working or taking care of family.
“Helping 100 people seemed like a realistic task for us,” Maureau said. “We have really smashed that goal!”
Now designated as an official 501C(3) nonprofit organization by the I.R.S., the 100 People Project is now helping hundreds of people each year. The Margate campus of Florida Career College (FCC) has partnered with them, hosting a Back to School event for students and teachers in the community for the past two years.
On August 1, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the event from happening for its third year in a row. FCC hosted a volunteer drive-through event for local teachers and students, distributing much-needed school supplies that were gathered and assembled by the 100 People Project.
“2020 threw a pandemic and then a hurricane at us for our annual Back to School event. This year has certainly kept us on our toes but we made a commitment to the teachers in our community and with the support of our amazing volunteers and Florida Career College, we helped 416 teachers in the community, and their students,” Maureau said. “By letting us utilize space at their campus, FCC is providing a valuable resource that has allowed us to do more than we ever thought possible. We are extremely grateful.”
“I am thrilled that we were able to host the event in spite of everything happening. I want to thank everyone who volunteered to help with this amazing event. It was a pretty remarkable day,” said Mikkel Dixon, FCC Margate Executive Director. “At Florida Career College, we believe that education is a driving force in the community and supporting the 100 People Project’s efforts to supply local teachers and students is one of the many ways we strive to support our community.”
“Our charitable work is demonstrated through giveaways or events with a specific focus. Giveaways ask for submissions to nominate worthy individuals who could use a little help,” Maureau said. “Our primary goal is to spread as much kindness and inspire as much giving as possible and this is where we ask for the help of people who want to do more but don’t know where to start. We have seen in just two short years how powerful our community can be and just how much of an impact we can make on others.”
FCC Margate plans to do more with 100 People Project starting this fall.
“We are so happy to be expanding the partnership with FCC to include a food pantry for those in emergency need, and we want to develop a mentoring program for local young men who have grown up without a father,” Maureau said.
“We look forward to ongoing efforts to support our community in partnership with the 100 People Project,” Dixon said. “They are truly an inspiration to our students, and the community at large.”