Effort will rally communities in response to the devastation,
encouraging people to Donate, Volunteer, Visit, and Invest
Musician Brianna Kalon, a Florida native, was deeply moved by the devastation suffered by communities across the Florida Panhandle during Hurricane Michael. Inspired, she worked with songwriter John Hilton Revell and songwriter and producer Miller Joyner to create a heartfelt, moving song and music video to lift up those affected by the catastrophe and encourage others to continue providing relief to victims. The music video and song, released today by REBUILD 850, were donated to the initiative to help the area’s recovery efforts beyond what the government can do alone.
The stirring video reflects Kalon, an Orlando resident, singing the new song “Carry On (Forgotten Coast)” as she strums her guitar on Florida beaches that escaped the wrath of Hurricane Michael. This is contrasted with before-and-after images of some of the massive devastation suffered in large sections of North Florida as the hurricane tore through the area on October 10.
“It’s beyond belief how Hurricane Michael devastated the lives of whole communities and the people who live there. I felt like I had to do something, and my hope is that this song and video will uplift those who were affected while inspiring everyone else to do what they can to be a part of the region’s recovery,” said Kalon, who saw Michael’s destruction firsthand. “As the song lyrics say, ‘Sometimes the wind will blow your life away, but keep your faith up for another day.’”
REBUILD 850, which launched November 1, is co-chaired by former Florida House Speakers Allan Bense and Will Weatherford and former Congresswoman Gwen Graham. The organization includes a broad group of dedicated partner organizations, all of whom have come together to make sure the continuing needs of communities in Florida’s Panhandle remain a high-profile priority for everyone. The group has issued a challenge for individuals, businesses, and organizations to donate, volunteer, visit, and invest to help the region.
“This exceptional music video will help keep the needs of North Florida in the public consciousness. As statewide and national attention of Hurricane Michael has turned to other things, we are working to ensure that the ongoing need to help our North Florida neighbors get through this unimaginable tragedy is not forgotten,” said Bense. “Communities are still in dire need of assistance during this season of giving. If we all come together in this time of need, and give what we are able to, there is nothing we can’t mend.”
Donations to REBUILD 850 will be administered by Volunteer Florida’s Florida Disaster Fund. The Florida Disaster Fund is the state’s private fund established to assist communities following disasters. The funds are distributed to service organizations that will serve affected individuals throughout both disaster response and long-term recovery. During response, these organizations and volunteers assist with tree removal and debris cleanup, tarp installation, mucking out and gutting of homes, and food distribution. Long-term recovery includes rebuilding homes, businesses, and communities while offering financial guidance and planning services.