Plots Katrina Response
capacity crowd of primarily NMU students filled the Peter White
Lounge of the University Center Wednesday night to plot campus relief
efforts in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
NMU Volunteer Center facilitated the meeting. Co-director Brianne
Rogers said, “We wanted to give student organizations an opportunity
to connect with community leaders and form groups that can work
on developing successful programs for fundraising, collecting needed
items, or other forms of assistance that will help those impacted
by the hurricane.”
ideas that surfaced through small-group discussions were divided
into four broad categories and addressed in more detail. The categories
include community drives to obtain clothing, food and other needed
supplies; fundraising campaigns that range from selling ribbons
and bracelets to various methods of collecting donations; major
events that could be coordinated to generate hurricane relief funds;
and comfort kits that will contain toiletries and personal hygiene
products. The Central Upper Peninsula Chapter of the American Red
Cross is trying to contribute a total of 8,500 comfort kits to impacted
residents. The goal is to have 2,000 assembled at NMU.
obtain contact information for individuals who have volunteered
to chair the four areas, contact the Volunteer Center at ext. 2466.
far-removed geographically, NMU student and New Orleans native Jennifer
Duquesnay Kirk (right) said the impact of Katrina hits close to
home. Ironically, Kirk lives in the Bourbon Street house in Spooner
Hall. Its murals depicting the city’s festive side contrast sharply
with the distressing media images she confronts daily as she monitors
the situation from a distance.
very out of control and I’ve only had contact with those who’ve
safely evacuated the area,” Kirk said. “I had to stop watching the
television news accounts because they’re so dramatized. Still photos
are easier to digest somehow. It’s scary, though; I’m up here, but
could have easily been a part of it because I would have gone to
the University of New Orleans if I hadn’t enrolled at Northern.”
is pictured with purple, yellow and green ribbons – a nod to traditional
Mardi Gras colors – being sold by Spooner Hall residents. She said
they’ve raised more than $190 so far and will contribute all proceeds
to the Red Cross.
Hemmila (Alumni Relations)
said more than 100 alumni families live in areas directly impacted
by Katrina. Students working for the NMU Foundation call center
are also trying to touch base with graduates in affected areas to
see how they’re doing and express support on behalf of NMU. Other
alumni are assisting in relief efforts. For example, recent graduates
of the electrical line technician program are working in Louisiana
and Mississippi to restore electrical power.
alumna who taught at an elementary school in New Orleans shared
her perspective and her concern for the safety of students and their
families, most of whom live in poverty and weren’t able to evacuate.
Her comments can be found at What's