Health kits containing a towel, soap, toothbrush and other items are stacked up waiting to be sent to the Philippines.
Dec 9, 2013
The Fannin Campus Ministries Center was a beehive of activity on Dec. 5, as students swarmed over tables laden with towels, soap, combs, and Band-Aids. In assembly-line fashion, more than 75 students worked for an intense hour on a project to make life a little easier for afflicted people half a world away.
Student Government Association and the Chaplain’s office collaborated to sponsor the project, in which the students assembled health kits to be sent to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. About 1,000 kits were assembled, and they will be sent to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the disaster relief agency of the United Methodist Church.
Each kit contained a wash cloth, a hand towel, a small bar of soap, a comb, a set of fingernail clippers, bandages, and a toothbrush, a standard set of items recommended by UMCOR. In addition, one dollar was included in each kit for the recipients to use to purchase toothpaste and shampoo.
Students were shown how to assemble the items, using the hand towel to wrap them up, and then place the kit in a large resealable plastic bag. Each kit cost about $5, and the Chaplain’s office purchased the materials. SGA is paying for them to be shipped.
“We did this when the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010,” said Mike Crawford, assistant dean of student development. “When the hurricane hit the Philippines, we decided we needed to step up and do something again.”
Allee Willcox, president of the Wesley Fellowship, said the nature of the disaster struck close to home.
“For me, living in Florida, I know the damage a hurricane can cause. We know what it’s like to have something come through that we have no control over,” she said. “Everyone at Florida Southern is very service-minded. People are going to take the opportunity to help.”
The large turnout pleasantly surprised the organizers of the project. In addition to SGA and campus ministry organizations, the Multicultural Student Council, Greeks and athletic teams came out to assemble the kits.
“I’m really happy with the turnout,” said SGA President Jared Goodwin. “I definitely think the disaster was notable. Social media does a lot of good to help the awareness.”
As the supplies dwindled, the Rev. Tim Wright, FSC chaplain, directed students to the stacks of pizza in the Fannin Center kitchen.
“You guys rock!” he said. “You made a big difference in the lives of people who are really hurting right now.”
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