FAMU recreation center holds hurricane relief drive

Hurricane relief drive in action
Brielle Crooms | The FAMUAN

The Florida A&M University Hansel-Tookes Recreation Center hosted a Hurricane Michael Relief drive for students on Wednesday. The center provided many different household items such as: canned goods, dog food, feminine products, tissue, toothpaste, water and much more.  Students were able to pick up items from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., and again at 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Students were required to show their Rattler ID at the sign up table where they would request which items they needed from a provided list. The student specified the quantity of items needed and waited in line until the items were brought to them. The workers of the drive filled a FAMU reusable bag based on the items the student requested.

The coordinator of the relief drive, Joshlyn Thomas, was adamant about ensuring the student’s needs were met.

“We are just responding to the need and demand of our students, over 300 students was impacted by the hurricane, Hurricane Michael,” Thomas explained. “We asked them what they needed, and we put out a call for those who could assist; such as our community partners, other universities, alumni and of course faculty and staff with the campus have been able to donate and give items.”

The university provided students several ways to be informed on the event.  

For instance, Thomas provided more insight of the different ways that they reached out to the FAMU students in need.  Some students were even informed through word of mouth and social media.

“We did a phone drive last week where we called all the impacted students and let them know about the drive,” stated Thomas. “We also attended the town hall meeting on Monday in which we informed them of the event as well.”

Due to financial and transportation, students were unable to go to stores to prepare for the hurricane.  After the hurricane, many students were left without electricity, homes were surrounded by fallen trees and non-perishable supplies were limited for students to have access to.

Vandy Allen, computer information major, who works at the Recreational Center, was informed about the drive through his supervisor.  He was appreciative of the relief efforts. 

Bottled water provided to students at the Hansel Tookes Recreational Center
Brielle Crooms | The FAMUAN

“I am very appreciative of what they are doing because it is a lot of us who really do need help with essential items such as water, toilet paper,

toothbrushes, toothpastes, deodorants, shampoo etc.…,”

Allen explained. “[The] freshmen, who came in, didn’t have rides to go to the stores to get the things that they need. So this is a very good initiative.”

Emilee Williams, sophomore psychology major, left the relief drive with all the supplies she needed. She was appreciative for the university’s initiative.

“This feels like Christmas,” Williams said.  "I really needed the items that they could give.”

Besides providing assistance after the hurricane, students also felt relieved the university contributed in a big way to their recovery after the storm. Overall, the drive provided exactly what it intended.