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

UA Greek Relief raises $135,000


When the record-breaking tornado struck the city of Tuscaloosa, The University of Alabama officials advised students to get out of the city and travel home, if possible.

Instead of leaving, members of the University’s greek community decided to take matters into their own hands and form a relief effort comprised of current students, alumni, University officials and city representatives to help the city.

“Right now, we are up to $135,000 raised, with donations coming from all across the country,” Patrick Morris, co-chairman of UA Greek Relief, said. “We have begun to meet, and we are working with the city on ways we can use this money to help, because we want to get this money to the right people.

“People could have donated the money to Red Cross, but they donated the money to us, and they wanted to make sure it stayed in the city of Tuscaloosa. Our promise to them is no matter what, this money will go purely to the relief effort of Tuscaloosa.”

When this relief effort first started, it consisted only of greek students. Soon after, non-greeks, people from the community and across the country, joined in to help. Not only did they raise money, they served meals and gave out supplies at various shelters and distribution centers.

June 2, the group had a conference call with their board of trustees that Morris says was beneficial to their cause.

“The call went great and was very helpful,” Morris said. “James [Fowler] and I are the co-chairmen of the board. Everybody has an equal voice. Our city representatives have been very helpful and have given us ideas on ways to help the city and how to distribute the money. One way we have been discussing is having a grant application where organizations that may not be funded could apply for funding.”

Morris said the tragedy really hit home and he felt obligated to help in some way.

“I have never seen a tornado, and I assumed that this one wouldn’t be a big deal,” Morris said. “After seeing the damage that night, it put me in shock. I knew we had to do something. Realizing the power and the resources we had within the greek system, I knew that if we could harness all of that together, we could really make a huge impact. It started as a small operation and has steam-rolled into one of the biggest relief efforts the city has.”

Even though they have already done a lot for the city, there is still more to be done. Morris said the group plans to continue raising money and helping the city until the end of the calendar year.

“We have decided that our end date will be the end of the calendar year,” Morris said. “We don’t have a specific number goal, but I can tell you that we are going to be full force fundraising as much as we can. I would love to double what we have now. We have $135,000 now, and I would love to be at $300,000 or $400,000 by the time we are done. The sky is the limit.

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