VSG collected long-life groceries, detergents, and masks to aid Louisiana State University students hit by the hurricane.
From September 20th to 24th, VSG held a fundraiser in support of Hurricane Ida-hit Louisiana State University (LSU) students. The trip took place on the Rand Wall, but was later moved to the Sarratt Promenade due to rain.
Virginia Georgiev, VSG active citizenship and service commissioner, said the idea for the fundraiser came when Chandler Black, LSU’s chief of staff, reached out to SEC schools for help after the hurricane. As a result of Hurricane Ida, over 800,000 Louisiana residents lost electricity, including parts of the LSU campus. While it suffered minimal damage, the campus was closed for three days in which many students across the state returned to badly damaged homes.
Bowman Talbot, a sophomore student from Madisonville, LA, spoke to The Hustler about the impact of Hurricane Ida on his hometown. Talbot is the editor for The Hustler’s sports division and serves as a senior VSG senator.
“Unlike Katrina, my family was lucky this time,” said Talbot. â€œWe were without electricity for a week and our roof was slightly damaged. Many in my hometown weren’t so lucky. “
Talbot thanked VSG for initiating the fundraiser and not allowing affected students and Louisiana residents to get lost in the mix.
â€œWhen I saw the email about the VSG’s donation campaign to the LSU students, I was genuinely surprised. I was surprised that someone else was taking care of it, â€said Talbot. â€œEveryone has seen the photos of the flooded streets of New Orleans, but many have forgotten everyone else, especially now that most of the FEMA and Red Cross operations are over. It was nice not to feel forgotten in the event of a disaster, and I have the VSG to thank for that. “
Georgiev said she contacted Black for a list of the items the LSU students will need, including tarps, non-perishable groceries, cleaning supplies, and monetary donations for their student aid fund. According to Georgiev, the most common items donated were non-perishable foods, masks, and detergents.
“We have received a significant number of donations that we are very pleased to receive,” said Georgiev.
In addition to donations from students, the VSG will use an indefinite amount of its funds to order additional relief supplies in large quantities via Amazon and to send them directly to students in need at LSU.
The fundraiser was entirely volunteer, with VSG members signing up for shifts to oversee it. Per Georgiev, through efforts like this, VSG hopes to encourage Vanderbilt students to get involved in service and active citizenship beyond campus.
“I hope that the students at LSU can make the best possible use of these resources and at least have one less thing to worry about in view of the consequences of the hurricane,” said Georgiev. “We have so many opportunities to give back and use these university resources to help people affected by the consequences of climate change, income and race inequality.”