Members of a newly formed campus organization at The University of Southern Mississippi are taking an active role in helping those victimized by last month’s deadly tornadoes in Alabama.
TeamHelp 2011 is working in conjunction with the Southern Miss Campus Civitan Club to collect basic necessities such as water, canned goods, toiletries, clothes, toys, books and monetary donations. On Wednesday, May 4 the group held a donation drive in the R.C. Cook Union Building on the Hattiesburg campus.
“Some of us were at church last Sunday and a woman was talking about the devastation in Alabama. That’s when we got together and decided we had to do whatever we could to help the people over there,” said Southern Miss sophomore Ryan Jones, who was instrumental in forming TeamHelp 2011.
Jones said the donation drive yielded 17 boxes of clothes (men, women and children); six large boxes of canned goods; four cases of water; $117 in cash and other assorted items. Donations will continue to be accepted at a drop-off box located in the Student Activities Hub on campus.
TeamHelp 2011 is also planning another donation drive built around a free outdoor concert set for June 4 at Town Square Park in downtown Hattiesburg. All donations collected after that date will be delivered to relief agencies in the Tuscaloosa, Ala., area.
“It’s hard to imagine what those people are going through right now,” said Southern Miss senior Erika Pattman, a founding member of TeamHelp 2011. “Our goal is to not only help the people affected by the recent tornadoes but offer assistance to anyone who might need help in the future. We want to be a permanent presence on campus.”
As of May 5, the death toll in Alabama from the tornadoes stood at 236 with 41 confirmed fatalities in Tuscaloosa.
For more information about TeamHelp 2011 contact Jones at 601.850.6486 or Pattman at 443.928.1509. Or follow the group on Twitter @TeamHelp2011.