Day of Service sees students package supplies for hurricane victims

Fifty-six boxes were packaged and shipped as part of Homecoming week.

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Day of Service sees students package supplies for hurricane victims

A student volunteer folds and boxes items on the clothing table. Katrina Scales | News Editor

A student volunteer folds and boxes items on the clothing table. Katrina Scales | News Editor

A student volunteer folds and boxes items on the clothing table. Katrina Scales | News Editor

A student volunteer folds and boxes items on the clothing table. Katrina Scales | News Editor

Katrina Scales, News Editor

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he Live Oak Pavilion was filled with boxes of bottled water, food, and hygiene supplies Friday afternoon as volunteers prepared items for shipment to victims of recent hurricanes Irma and Maria.

It was the final day that the FAU Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning and Students Advocating Volunteer Involvement collected donations for their annual Homecoming week relief effort for Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and the Florida Keys.

More than 100 students manned labeled tables with specific items such as shoes, bedding, and canned goods in the Live Oak room directly behind the Student Union. Fifty-six large boxes were packaged from noon to 5 p.m. and shipped the same evening to the islands, according to Weppner Assistant Director Ashley Williams.

SAVI Director Trevor Davis assigned volunteers to various stations and said that this event is especially effective since most hurricane relief efforts have died down.

“We take pride in being one of the most diverse campuses in the country and so, within that, we want to try and make as much of an impact as we can on the global community,” Davis said. “And we feel that we have a moral obligation when things like this happen but also that we are supporting those communities that our students are from.”

Seventeen FAU student organizations competed to collect the most items, Davis said. Volunteers also donated goods to be used for the event.

Junior Andrea Betancur said her personal connection to the humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean compelled her to volunteer.

“I’m Puerto Rican and I have some family over there that’s struggling right now and my parents and I personally sent them things so when I found out about this, I jumped at the opportunity,” she said.

The Live Oak room also had a card-making station for students to send words of encouragement to youth in the Keys affected by the storm. Williams said that 180 cards were created and sent.

Last year, the Day of Service event focused efforts on the victims of hurricane Matthew, sending more than 40,000 packaged meals to Haitians in need.

“We do this every year,” Davis said. “It might not always be disaster relief but we try to focus on something that is large scale that we can make an effective change in somebody’s life.”

Katrina Scales is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].