Teen Creates Boca Buckets

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Staff report

Matthew Goodman, 15 of Boca Raton, knows firsthand how long it takes to clean up after a hurricane.

For the past several weeks, he and his family have been dealing with the debris caused by a 50-foot tree that fell on their house during Hurricane Irma.

While the Goodman’s prepared for the storm by stocking up on extra food, water and batteries, they were not prepared for the aftermath.  In fact, without enough of the necessary supplies, their cleanup efforts were hampered. Matthew wished he’d had a good pair of work gloves to prevent all the cuts and scrapes he got when hauling yard trash out to the curb.

The sophomore at St. Andrew’s School figured with so many people in the path of so many storms this hurricane season, cleanup had to be a huge, frustrating issue.

In the days after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, Matthew went down to the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and loaded a passenger plane with much-needed supplies for residents of the island.

After that, Matthew decided to start assembling compact, self-contained relief kits, calling them “Boca Buckets.”

These kits include contractor garbage bags, respirator masks, gloves, bleach, and various other items. His first shipment went out to Houston, Texas to help Hurricane Harvey flood victims.  This week, after hearing about the thousands of Palm Beach County residents applying for Irma food help, he decided to bring a little relief to those standing in line at Lake Ida West Park in Delray Beach.

As Matthew says, “giving out these kits is just a “drop in the bucket” toward helping people get back up and running.”

He would like to keep this project going and has established a website, bocabuckets.org, for more information.