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Riverhead Town to contribute $10K to help group expand ‘Rags to Riches’ program

The Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday authorized up to $10,000 to help the Butterfly Effect Project expand its Rags to Riches program. 

The money will come from the town’s recycling fund.

Rags to Riches gathers used clothing donated by the community, which the participating girls then make wearable by cleaning it, repairing it or whatever is needed, according to Butterfly Effect Project founder Tijuana Fulford, who explained the program at Tuesdays’s Town Board meeting along with group members Gionnah Hicks and Jaylen Lee.

The clothing is then sold an a store operated by the project. Items that don’t sell are donated to people in need in Haiti.

The Butterfly Effect Project was established in Riverhead in 2014 to empower young girls to become strong, independent and knowledgeable.

In its first year, it had eight members. It now has 430 participants and has chapters throughout Long Island.

Last year, the Rags to Riches program prevented more than 500 pounds of clothing from going to the landfill, Ms. Fulford said. This year, according to the group, that number will more than double.

Caption: The Butterfly Effect Project founder Tijuana Fulford and Taliah, 2, organize Christmas gifts donated by Teachers Federal Credit Union in 2017. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

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