Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Students bring help from hometowns

    Following Wednesday’s devastating storm, UA students were encouraged by the university to return to their homes. While students departed from the area of destruction, many of them arrived home with one goal—to do whatever they could to help Tuscaloosa, their home away from home, and its people get back to where they were.

    “My friends and I have set up several drop-off boxes around the surrounding towns we live in,” said Angela Martin, a senior majoring in photo-journalism and native of Clayton, AL. “I’ve made phone calls to my old high school, churches, offices around town and my dad’s restaurant to see if they could get the word out on a larger scale and become drop-off points for people to donate.”

    Martin and her friends have been using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread information about drop-off spots they set up as well as how people can volunteer, find lost items and seek help while in the Tuscaloosa area.

    Kristen Fisher and Kyle Frazier from Montgomery, Ala. and Atlanta respectively, traveled to their hometowns after the storm. They both have gathered items such as clothing to donate to the people of Tuscaloosa.

    “I have made the decision to return to Tuscaloosa and donate because I want to help those who suffered from the tornado get back on their feet,” said Fisher, a junior majoring in telecommunications and film. “I feel that God blessed me to survive this tragic incident so that I can help those in need.”

    “I knew that I had more stuff at home that the whole family was not using rather than what was in my dorm room,” Frazier said. “My hopes are that they will help someone who was affected by the storm.”

    Like Martin, Corey Smith has sought out donations from members of his hometown. Smith, a native of Opelika, Ala. has collecting mostly clothing items from the people in the city. He has also set up a monetary donation at his home church to aid in relief efforts.

    “As a student I know I have home to go to in Opelika, but for residents of Tuscaloosa their homes are gone,” Smith said. “Opelika wasn’t affected by the storm and I know it easily could have been. I believe as Alabamians we should do our part help save those ourselves.”

    Some students feel as if taking relief efforts outside of the city are beneficial to the recovery.

    “Students don’t have to be in Tuscaloosa to help,” Martin said. “Many can help from home by raising money to donate or collecting other items to send Tuscaloosa’s way.”

    “For students who returned home, I hope they remember that Tuscaloosa has been their home for the past 9 months and shouldn’t be erased from their memories just because it is summer,” Smith said. “Even if they can’t return to volunteer, they can be informed and donate money toward recovery efforts.”

    The University has coordinated its own initiatives and encouraged support, and students are doing their parts as well from areas outside of Tuscaloosa.

    “I feel that my contribution will help the townspeople who lost everything get back to their everyday living and take away some of the stress they may have about how they are going to survive,” Fisher said. “I will be donating clothes and I believe other students should get out and do the same because we need to help our student body and Tuscaloosa family get through this tragedy.”


    More to Discover