The shoe and apparel giant Nike has long had a mission of giving back to communities impacted by natural disasters.

And as it should happen, at the time Hurricane Michael ravaged Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach last October, Nike also had an employee with deep roots in the area.

Ethan Ellzey was a former student at Port St. Joe High School and his parents, Lee and Cyndi (Wingate) Ellzey, reside in the community.

Working through personal connections Ethan reached the Tapper Foundation, a non-profit in a position to accept donations.

And last week, the result of Ethan and Nike’s largesse reached Port St. Joe in the form of several dozen boxes of new donated Nike Jordan brand apparel and shoes to Gulf District Schools.

The schools, half of the donation went to Wewahitchka, the other half remained in Port St. Joe, began distributing the items this week to needy students.

But before the items were distributed, Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School students gathered around the boxes for a photo last week to say “Thanks.” --- Tim Croft