Hurricane Maria spurs action from campus organizations

Now two months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, citizens are still having a tough time doing almost anything, and half of the island is still without power. The effect of the storm has caused at least two student organizations to take action. Senior Becca Sauter is one student involved in a campus-wide joint fundraiser aimed at aiding the victims of the hurricane.

Sauter is the public relations coordinator for the University Honors Student Association, and she feels getting help to those on the island is a top priority.

“There’s a really big need, and it’s kind of fallen out of the news lately,” says Sauter. “The situation wasn’t really handled that well, so we really need to jump in and help.”

In partnership with the global humanitarian organization Heart to Heart International, UHSA and Student Association are putting together a plan to raise money.

“We’re asking our honors students, we’re asking SA students, we’re asking other student organizations on campus, and just other students on campus, to adopt an envelope,” said Sauter.

Adopting an envelope is their way of collecting funds from various people on campus here at UMD, or out in the local community. They’re encouraging students to form teams and collect money that way, as well.

  Homes lay in ruin as seen from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, Black Hawk during a flyover of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria September 23, 2017. Photo by Kris Grogan .

Homes lay in ruin as seen from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, Black Hawk during a flyover of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria September 23, 2017. Photo by Kris Grogan.

“So, when you adopt an envelope we hope that you would go to ten people, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers [and ask them to donate],” said Sauter. “Were not asking the students themselves for money, we’re asking students to ask other people for money.”

“I think it’s a great idea,” said sophomore Kelly Thomas, who has worked on similar fundraising projects before in her hometown of Preston, Minnesota. “I’ve never heard of the envelope idea before, but I might have to steal it down the road. It’ll be interesting to see how much they raise.”

Sauter remains hopeful that Puerto Rico will get the help it desperately needs due to the fact that this type of fundraiser has proved itself in the past.

   A Coast Guard member deployed to Borinquen, Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts delivers a case of water to a resident of Moca, Puerto Rico, Oct. 9, 2017. Photo by David Micallef.     

A Coast Guard member deployed to Borinquen, Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts delivers a case of water to a resident of Moca, Puerto Rico, Oct. 9, 2017. Photo by David Micallef.

 

“University honors student association did something like this two years ago,” Sauter said, “and it was very successful in a very short amount of time, so we’re hoping it has the same effect.”

Sauter herself has a deep personal connection to those who are struggling without power and little medical attention.

“For me, personally, I have family with long term illnesses, and I’m very thankful that they are able to get the medical attention that they need,” Sauter said. “It’s really hard to think about if they weren’t able to get the care or amount of care that they need. That’s only a thought for me, and for a lot of people in Puerto Rico, that’s their reality.”

For more information on how to adopt an envelope, stop by the University Honors lounge (21 EduE) or donate directly online

NewsAndrew Becker