Some TCU students are reaching out to West, Texas by donating time, volunteering and planning benefit events.
First-year music education major Ali Blackwell from Waco said she knows several people helping in the relief by donating blood and participating in the search and rescue efforts.
She added that while everyone she knows from the West area is safe, she is still going home Friday to do her part in aiding those affected by the explosion.
She also asked her friends at the university to donate clothes to bring with her on her trip home.
“Whatever donation one makes will help,” she said.
Sophomore strategic communication major Ryan Sigman from Austin said he plans to help in any way he can because, unlike the Boston bombings, he is close enough to do so.
“Sometimes it’s hard to feel a tragedy when it’s far away, but when it’s close, it’s much easier to empathize even if you don’t know anyone personally that’s involved,” he said. “We’re all Texans in this one.”
Tara Johnson, a first-year psychology major, created an event and had a Facebook invite sent to several students by Thursday.
Johnson said she plans to work with her cousin Jennifer Brown Thomas, a 2011 graduate from the university, and her company JBT to host a golf tournament benefitting both West, Texas and the JBT brand.
“The JBT brand plans on hosting many forms of fundraising annually. This just happens to be the first cause,” Johnson said.
The golf tournament will take place on June 1 at Willow Springs Golf Course in Fort Worth. Teams of four can enter the tournament at $50 per player for green fees, cart rental and range balls.
Johnson said she doesn’t personally know anyone from West, but the town is still close to her heart.
“As a Texan, I’ve been through West and stopped there many times,” Johnson said. “It’s a charming little town.”
The TCU Student Nurses Association organized a blood drive Thursday and arranged for donations to go toward the needs in West, Texas.
Jimmie Borum, a faculty adviser to the TCU Student Nurses Association, wrote in an email that one of the nursing students involved in the event is from West and asked students “to show her and the citizens of West that TCU cares about [her and her family].”
The drive will be held in the BLUU Auditorium on Monday, April 22 from 1 to 6 p.m.
Elizabeth St. Laurent, a junior biology major, created an event Friday called “Hope for West.” Students are invited to make care baskets to take to children affected by the explosion.
Students will be writing letters of encouragement and collecting items for the baskets such as small blankets, stuffed animals, small toys, coloring books and crayons, activity books and bubbles.
“I really wanted to put this event together because, although I know that food and water are necessary supplies, I cannot even fathom being a child going through this disaster,” she said. “I wanted to bring children even just a small sliver of happiness and light into this dark time and show them that people care about them and love them.”
The event will take place on Monday at 8 p.m. in the Miller room on the third floor of the Brown-Lupton University Union.
Tanner Giles contributed to this story.