From sports teams, fraternities and sororities, to clubs and organizations, East Carolina University students are coming together to provide relief as Greenville recovers from aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
Just three days after the storm hit, student-athletes from seven of ECU’s athletic teams headed to areas of need. Cypress Glen, a retirement home located on Hickory Street, faced threats of major flooding as the Tar River began to rise.
“Just in the hour or so we were there we could watch the water rising,” said Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Vice President Pol Sollanes, an ECU track runner. “It meant a lot to be able to help and see its effect.”
As the water continued to flood the area, student-athletes rushed to create sandbag barriers around the retirement. Later that week when the water began to recede, the student-athletes returned to Cypress Glen to begin repairs and move residents back into their rooms.
Furthering relief efforts, many of ECU’s fraternities and sororities continue to collect clothes, blankets, and food for North Carolinians displaced by the hurricane. The president of Beta Theta Phi, Chris Turpin, had his fraternity organize a virtual food drive through the Food Bank of Central and eastern North Carolina to raise $2,000. In addition they have set up 12 donation boxes in various downtown businesses and restaurants. The fraternity also plans to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
“We have had a lot of our brothers personally affected… and a lot of people in the community are suffering from the same thing,” said Turpin. “We want to show our gratitude to them [Greenville community].”
Spanning beyond the Greenville community, ECU’s Habitat for Humanity chapter is putting efforts into raising money for victims of the hurricane in Haiti. With hundreds dead and thousands of homes ruined, Haiti will be facing a major battle in terms of recovery. ECU’s Habitat for Humanity is hoping to alleviate some of that pain.
“This is a great organization. I can reach the community and even further,” said Candice Cudjoe, a member of the club. Cudjoe added helping in the community means a lot to her and she is proud to be a part of the organization.
Whether the victims are oceans away or just down the road, ECU students have made relief work from Hurricane Matthew a priority.