WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Even though they don't live in Puerto Rico, one West Lafayette family is feeling the effects of Hurricane Maria.
The DeJesus family owns Studio Capsule in Lafayette making t-shirts and buttons. Their button materials are now being used by one of the youngest members of the family. He's helping people impacted by hurricane Maria using his hobby.
"We always try to instill with Tomas that we want to raise money to help others," said Emily DeJesus. She is Tomas's mother. "This time it's a little more personal."
While other six-year-olds are playing with friends or with video games, six-year-old Tomas DeJesus is making buttons.
"To save my cousins from the Hurricane," Tomas DeJesus said.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico about a month ago leaving millions without power and homes reduced to rubble.
That includes members of DeJesus's family.
Tomas DeJesus said, "Well their houses got torn down, no ceiling."
"Their house was devastated," his mother said. "They have no kitchen, no dining room, no roof. The biggest problem they have is clean water."
To help people impacted by the Hurricane, he makes buttons with the Puerto Rican Flag and sells them for $2 each.
Tomas DeJesus said, "We're raising money for UNICEF, so they can help people in Puerto Rico."
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund was created 70 years ago. One of its missions is to provide life-saving resources to children and families in the hardest hit regions. Tomas has raised more than $50 since he started this project a few weeks ago.
"We gave money for Mexico, we gave money for Texas, we gave money for Florida, but this one we're trying to raise a little bit more money because it is so personal to us," said Emily DeJesus.
DeJesus said donations can be sent to this PayPal address: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send a check to: 516 Main Street Suite E Lafayette, IN 47901.
Make sure you send this message with your donation: I want to help Puerto Rico. They said they will gladly send you a button. The fundraiser ends on Nov. 1.
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