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Editor's note: This is the latest story in the #SWFLstrong series, profiling individuals making a positive difference in the community. These articles will be featured on a regular basis in the Collier Citizen, Marco Eagle and The Banner.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video probably goes for more.

That's what 9-year-old Samantha Dooney surmised when she gathered the community together to say "thank you" to the heroes helping with Hurricane Irma disaster relief.

After seeing the devastation the storm brought to her home, and how local emergency personnel helped people in need, Samantha felt inspired to see the video through. 

She borrowed her mother's iPhone to take photos of her neighbors, friends, family and strangers holding up cards thanking first responders, medical staff, Florida Power & Light employees and news teams. Tech-savvy Samantha edited the images together using an iPhone app, iMovie.

The three-minute video was posted by her mother Stacey Dooney on Facebook and shared by many users, including the Collier County Sheriff's Office. The video has gotten more than 11,000 views. 

"The video is for the people that have been helping the community after Hurricane Irma," said the Pelican Marsh Elementary student inside her North Naples home.

Mobile and app users: Click here to watch the video »

The Dooneys were fortunate. Their home suffered no major damage and they evacuated to Jacksonville before the hurricane hit. It was when they got back to Naples post-Irma that they realized the devastation it had left.

The "thank you" cards were created during camp Irma at the Naples Performing Arts Center. The facility was open to families seeking air conditioning and fun activities from their powerless homes a week after the storm hit on Sept. 10. 

Samantha, along with her twin sister Olivia and eldest sister Rachael, 12, got a group of children together to write the cards with help from their mother Stacey.

The idea for the "thank you" cards transpired when the Dooney family stayed at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs to seek refuge after the storm when their home didn't have power. Stacey encouraged her daughters to write cards thanking hotel employees for helping out. 

Their first night home, Samantha couldn't sleep and told her mother her stomach felt funny. When Stacey asked her why, Samantha said she was worried about all the people who lost everything to the storm.

"Samantha is a beautiful and sensitive soul. She can feel emotions deeply. I believe that is why she connected to the video so much," Stacey said. 

"She ran with the idea of the video and I was proud to see her walk to neighbors' houses and ask them to hold up the cards."

The Dooney family went beyond the video.

They donated food and water to places ravaged by the storm, including Immokalee and the Naples Estates. They helped out at a few churches, including their own, Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church. 

Samantha said she offered a little girl from Immokalee her stuffed animal, which she got as a present for Christmas. 

Olivia, who loves animals, donated towels and other supplies to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, which had lost power. 

"I liked when people smiled when we gave them something," Olivia said.

Rachael added, "After we volunteered, it felt good coming home and knowing that you helped."

The Dooney family isn't alone.

From lemonade stands to "thank you" videos, families and their youngest members have stepped up after Irma to help their communities. 

"One thing we ask our girls is to make a difference in the world," Stacey said.

"There are so many families out there helping with their kids. This is one story and one thing that happened."

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To nominate an individual for the "#SWFLstrong" series, contact reporter Ashley Collins at 239-213-6029 or ashley.collins@naplesnews.com.

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