Hurricane Ida’s arrival on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina evoked a string of unpleasant memories for residents of South Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana. While most in Pearl River Community College's region were not directly affected this time, many felt called to help our neighbors in southern Louisiana.
Collections began at the first home football game earlier this month with a call to the community to join PRCC in their efforts to provide relief to those affected.
One of the first contributions was disposable diapers from a family who had a baby when Katrina hit. They remembered how grateful they were for those diapers and wanted to return the favor.
“The response of our faculty, staff and students to provide assistance to those affected by Hurricane Ida was overwhelming,” said Pearl River President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “We often talk about working daily to not only provide a premier education but to build better mothers, fathers, sons and daughters for the future. Our ultimate goal is to build better local communities. Within days of requesting support for these victims, we had truckloads of supplies and monetary donations for assistance.
“These blessings were not only from members of our college family but from members who reside throughout our service district.”
The recent relief effort by PRCC brought collected items to residents of Thibodaux, Louisiana, and the surrounding communities on Sunday, Sept. 14. Members of the faculty, staff and student body made the trip.
Thanks to generous donors, key items like toiletries, nonperishable food, and water were brought to the area. A total of eight pallets of supplies were loaded onto trailers for the journey.
More than $4,000 in donations were collected by the PRCC Foundation. Some of those funds enabled the serving of meals to more than 700 individuals. All were appreciative of a hot meal that was ready to enjoy.
“We are living in challenging times, but members of our faculty, staff and student body pushed those obstacles aside and headed to South Louisiana to provide assistance to those in need,” said Breerwood.
PRCC student and softball player Makiya Hunter from Jackson was one of several students who made the trip to help.
“I am grateful that Coach (Christie) Meeks gave me and my teammates the opportunity to go and help,” said Hunter. “I enjoyed helping prepare and serve the local community. I would be happy to volunteer my time again.”
“I was most impressed with the kindness and generosity of our students who provided hugs of support and compassion,” said Breerwood. “I heard on numerous occasions our students provide one simple response to those victims who spoke works of gratitude and appreciation: ‘We are Happy to Help’.”
HELP IS ONGOING
PRCC’s Hurricane Ida relief efforts are continuing with a new round of collections to end at the football game on Thursday, Sept. 23 in Poplarville. Donations can be dropped off at all Wildcat Den campus locations. A delivery to Southeastern University is in the works for next weekend.
Top Row (Left to Right): Janna Paterson, Promise Shanks, Taelor York, Aunie Rethmeyer, Makiya Hunter, Hannah Sparks, Sonya Hunt, Brad Ladner, Scotty Fletcher, Blaise Breerwood
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Cassidy Cartwright, Lonnie Burchell, Adam Breerwood, Shana Breerwood, Craig Tynes, Jeff Long.