By Jake Crouse, Copy Editor
Although the Upstate received the least amount of rain during the heavy rains earlier this month, but the Furman community is reaching out a helping hand to those who were affected by flooding.
An email sent to students and faculty Oct. 8 from the Chaplain’s Office listed the many forms of support Furman intended to give both victims and those affected by the flood on campus. The message urged those students to seek out the chaplains and/or counseling during this difficult time.
“Our hearts are heavy for our state,” the email said. “They are equally proud of all the ways South Carolinians have and will continue to care for one another as we rebuild and restore what has been lost.”
Most visibly on the Furman campus, Heller Service Corps offered its support on Wed. Oct. 7 and Thurs. Oct. 8 by collecting funds for the American Red Cross outside of the Duke library. The Red Cross has opened 35 shelters and mobilized nearly 400 workers with 22 emergency response vehicles to support over 5,000 people in the state.
Nancy Cooper, Coordinator for Volunteer Services for Heller, thought the dedication that student leaders and participants demonstrated during a difficult midterm exam period underlined the selflessness of Furman students.
“The one thing that stands out about the student body of Furman University is that they are always willing to do whatever is necessary in a time of crisis,” Cooper said. Maggie Donnellan, Co-Director of Freshman Representatives for Heller, helped staff the tables outside of the library both days, and reports that this effort brought in $530.
“Heller tends to ask for student’s time instead of money,” Donnellan said, “so when we sat outside the library for two days, we were happily surprised with the participation from our students.”
The Furman Police Department did what it could to offer support. The department sent an email of intended assistance should any campus police in the Columbia or Charleston area need backup as students moved back in.
“For now they are fine as they canceled classes,” Saccenti said. “However, as students return and the officers must deal with work and home repair, they advise they will probably be calling us for assistance at some point.”
Teaming up with longtime sponsor Ingles, the Furman Athletic Department secured a deal with the local grocery store to donate bottled water to affected areas. For each contribution the department made, the grocery chain matched that to double the amount of water supplied. Ingles shipped a tractor-trailer of water and sent it down to the flooding victims in early October.
The Furman Alumni Association also rallied for donations in a chain email sent out to alumni across the globe. It also provided contact information to organizations that could offer them the means to support in other ways.
Heller Service Corps is still accepting donations from those interested in getting involved. Its office is located on the upper level of the Trone Student Center.