"You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand." ~Irene C. Kassorla

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Extra Credit: What Utah Valley University Students can do to help the devastation in Georgia

Over one month after several EF-4 and EF-5 twisters nearly destroyed the Southern states, the rebuilding of towns is still underway. In desperate need of donations and clean up crews, the people of the small Georgian towns are hopeful that someone will hear their cries for help.

Originally from Riggold, Georgia, Twenty-two-year-old Christopher Owens, attends college here in Utah. He traveled back home for the summer to see a completely different surrounding area than he had known before the tornados.

“Seeing my hometown like this really tears me up inside and each time I see it I don’t believe it. It just makes you appreciate what you got and I am thankful that we were not hit because the damage is just 3 miles away,” he said.

Many Utah Valley University students want to help those suffering from the devastation of these natural disasters, but don’t know how they can contribute because they live so far away.

“I feel bad for the people in the south, I actually have a friend that lives over there and his hometown was destroyed. I just don’t know how to help him,” said Brittany Peay, a sophomore at UVU.

Owens, however, knows just how students and people from other states can help. He said, “I think the biggest way for people of Utah and others can help, is to send whatever extra things they have and to send care packages. We still need food, water, hygiene supplies, clothes, shoes, etc.”

Another Utah college student, Kelcie Ogden, is facing the same reality as Owens. Her home is also in the South and agrees that while there isn’t much that people in other states can do from afar, there is plenty they can do from their own homes.

“People in Utah can offer prayers for those in need and can offer thanks for their blessings. They can also give donations to organizations such as the red cross,” she said.

While many outside of the affected areas believe that the government will step in and take control of the clean up efforts, Owens admits that he hasn’t seen the assistance that most would expect.

“I know the government will play a big role in helping out the tornado victims and to rebuild businesses, but the only people I’ve seen on site so far is regular people just wanting to help in what ever way they can,” he said.

For more information on how to volunteer, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.uvu.edu/volunteer" www.uvu.edu/volunteer or HYPERLINK "http://www.atlandaredcross.org"

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