Lara Murray-Sterzel, Staff Writer |
There’s nothing more tragic than a hurricane destroying communities and leaving thousands of people injured and without a home. When Hurricane Sandy struck the U.S. in 2012, thousands of people lost their homes. Thankfully, with help from the community, we were able to raise money for people affected by the hurricane. Now it’s up to us, as a community, to help those in need when another natural disaster strikes. Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility and Community, also known as CSRC, takes action and provides service to communities that have been affected by major natural disasters.
On Wednesday, October 20, CSRC held a hurricane fundraiser meeting to discuss working together to help aid struggling communities after natural disasters. The meeting was led by Lind Drake, the CSRC director here at Oneonta. Even though only eight students came to the meeting, Drake didn’t mind because she knew it was a starting point. She hopes once word gets out more students would want to join the fundraiser. Drake made a slideshow of the history of natural disasters and provided pictures of hurricanes hitting vulnerable places in our country. Drake also talked about the time when Hurricane Katrina hit the southern part of the U.S. in 2005. People called it the worst hurricane ever, traveling 90 square miles and destroying everything in sight. A year later, Drake traveled with some students to the area to help families in need. She recalls feeling disappointed in America’s leadership because it took too long for others to help these struggling families.
The next topic brought up in the slideshow was the Mid-Atlantic United States Flood of 2006, where a rainstorm hit the Mid-Atlantic region and all the water from the mountains flooded the nearby towns. Once again, Oneonta acted in aiding the community and provided any resources needed.
Drake also wanted to discuss Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Maria. Hurricane Ian hit Florida last month leaving people’s towns wrecked and homes destroyed. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico five years ago and left it in the worst condition possible. It was revealed at the meeting that there are 82,000 people still without a safe home, electricity, or clean water. Places of tourism are fully repaired, but residential areas are still under construction. And now with Hurricane Fiona, Puerto Ricans are struggling to get by. On a happy note, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Puerto Rico a couple of weeks ago and promised $60 million dollars in aid to the Puerto Rican community. As you can tell, CSRC has been very involved in aiding victims of natural disasters. With Florida and Puerto Rico still in need of help, Drake asked everyone at the meeting to participate in a vote, declaring which area they would be able to help. After everyone voted, Puerto Rico was declared the winner. CSRC has several plans to help raise additional money for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria. One of them is holding a kickball tournament in Oneonta. If you would like to help or get involved with the CSRC, please either email Linda Drake or look on Campus Connection for their next fundraiser.