Members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity and other students made cards and donated items for the children of West, Texas Monday night as a part of the Hope For West service event.
APO service assistant Elizabeth St. Laurent organized the event. St. Laurent said she wanted to offer a different type of relief than other organizations.
“When you’re a little kid, basic necessities like water are great, but you want to have fun too. I just felt like the kids needed to be cheered up,” St. Laurent said.
Students who attended the event wrote cards of encouragement to the children of West and made bags to hold the cards and other donated items.
Most of the students who attended the event did not have any personal ties to West, but some said that banding together to help out a struggling community is what drew them to the event.
“I think it’s important because many of the people who were affected, many were children who had to evacuate from the town, and they were really emotionally affected," Jack Enright, an APO member, said. "I think these cards will really kind of help brighten their day a little bit."
The event raised more than $100 in donations for the children of West, in addition to nearly 200 stuffed animals donated from one student.
“[My parents] just had them left over from a Greek festival, and I asked them, and they said, ‘Yes, let’s donate them,’” Alexandra Constantinou, a first-year strategic communication major, said. She brought five trash bags full of stuffed animals to the event.
St. Laurent said she plans to deliver all of the donated items to the Aderhold Funeral Home in West on Saturday.
For more information on how to help the people of West, Texas, contact St. Laurent at email@example.com.