Within hours of news of devastating floods in southern West Virginia, West Virginia University students and faculty were at work organizing relief efforts – and they are still at it.
“As soon as our student leaders learned of the destruction that unfolded, they, without prompting or prodding, sprang into action,” President Gordon Gee said. “Within a few hours, they had developed a plan for delivering much-needed supplies to those in harm’s way.”
“We’re One WVU; we’re one West Virginia and we care about all of West Virginia,” said Rikki Bower, a WVU alumnus and VISTA volunteer who is working with the University’s Center for Service and Learning. “This is students who care, faculty, staff, administration who care coming together to make sure that people get supplies that they desperately need.”
The University became a collection center for much of north central West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania as supplies rolled in from more than 300 individuals, businesses, churches and other groups across the region.
A fact sheet on many of the responses by the WVU community to the floods can be downloaded by clicking this link.
Through Thursday, WVU had collected and taken four tractor-trailer loads, eight smaller trailers and numerous other vehicles packed with supplies to Clay, Greenbrier and Webster counties and elsewhere.
The Service and Learning Center is also conducting fundraising campaign at http://dollarsfordisaster.wvu.edu.
Also, WVU Medicine had gathered and contributed nearly 300 tetanus vaccines as well as masks and gloves. In addition, about 40 doctors, nurses and advanced practice providers will be in Rainelle, Rupert and Richwood to provide medical care through the weekend; twice as many volunteered to go.
WVU’s football and basketball teams also led collection and distribution efforts, and several alumni chapters are conducting fundraising efforts.
WVU alumnus and Princeton native Ken Kendrick even offered to match up to $500,000 in contributions by fellow alumni and donors made to the WVU Foundation. Almost $150,000 had already been collected through mid-day Friday.
To view a video of some of these efforts, go to: https://youtu.be/IcbjTA14Qns.
CONTACT: University Relations/News
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