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Students combine efforts for Sandy relief

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 06:11

Though Hurricane Sandy did not directly impact the Tampa area when it made landfall, USF students are raising awareness and support across campus to assist victims of the hurricane.

The Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity, the USF Student Government, the American Red Cross Club at USF and various other organizations hosted a fundraiser on Friday to show their support for hurricane victims.

“We all saw the effects that Hurricane Sandy had on the Northeast region, and it was a pretty devastating event for (those affected),” Joan Lastra, a senior majoring in civil engineering and member of Lambda Upsilon Lambda said. “I know we’re more used to it in Florida, so we could probably be the best solution to help out.”

The event took place in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Amphitheater and featured food and music.

Contributions made during the fundraiser were donated to the American Red Cross to support their relief efforts.

Other work done on campus to support relief efforts included that of freshmen Carly Corbin, a medical technology major, and Megan Lewis, an education major, who led a University Experience class project when they were asked to come up with a service project that the class could become involved with.

Lewis and Corbin focused their project on those still recuperating from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and asked for donations of items such as medical supplies, blankets and small toys for children.

“We know that a lot of students at USF have family in New York, and so we wanted to do something to help,” Lewis said.

Boxes were placed outside various locations on campus to collect the items, including the MSC, the Education building, Cooper Hall and the Library.

While their project was only supposed to run through last week, Corbin and Lewis plan to extend it until Tuesday. The project had a slow start, but Corbin said she thinks more people will begin to contribute.

“We have received some donations so far,” Corbin said. “Not a lot of people have participated yet, but word is being spread.”

Lastra said brothers in his fraternity who live in the Northern region of the country have been posting pictures of the flooding Sandy has left and have also been hosting events for relief efforts.

“All across the nation, we’re trying to help in any way that we can,” Lastra said.

One of the coordinators of the event, Omar Rodriguez, a senior majoring in history and international studies, said the goal of the event was to raise $1,000 on Friday. As of Sunday evening, the total amount collected from the event was not calculated, but was “no where near” their goal, he said.

“It was a great event on paper,” Rodriguez said. “It wasn’t as big as it could have been but we did spread awareness.”

Regardless of the amount of money raised, Grace Lloyd, a junior majoring in psychology and member of Delta Tau Lambda Sorority, Inc., said she was glad to have the opportunity to help out.

“I have family that lives in New York, and while luckily they were out of town, I have a few friends who weren’t,” Lloyd said. “I also know other families have been affected.”

The Red Cross reported Friday that 2,400 households remain without power, and another 62,000 homes cannot receive power because of the damages from Hurricane Sandy. They have distributed more than two million items to victims of the storm.

As of Friday, there are still approximately 1,800 people stayingin shelters, and the Red Cross has launched relief operations in 10 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with more than 8,800 Red Cross disaster responders mobilized in these areas.

Other organizations who sponsored Friday’s event were Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc.; the Venus Interest Group; the Cuban American Student Association; the United Nations Student Alliance at USF and Sigma Chi Fraternity, Inc.

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