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An Outpouring of Generosity
Members of Alpha Sigma Phi load a truck with a huge volume of bottled water and other supplies donated by the university community for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
The donated supplies were going to be transported to the State Armory in this van, but the number of items collected was so large, the van had to be replaced by a truck.
Members of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity loaded a medium-size box truck with all the supplies that had been collected during the week, and filled the truck to capacity. Carol Murzyn, director of Mail Services, and Bill Michaud of Mail Services drove the truck to the State Armory in Hartford, one of the main collection points for the state’s hurricane relief efforts.
Members of the university community donated 80 cases of bottled water and 50 one- and two-gallon containers of water; 108 bars of soap; nearly 200 pounds of canned food; and a huge volume of snack foods, cereal, diapers, personal hygiene products, toilet paper, batteries, flashlights, blankets, clothing, and other supplies.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors donated the items through campus collection drives run by Alpha Sigma Phi, the Center for Community Service, and the Department of Mail Services. In addition, Wick Griswold, assistant professor of sociology at Hillyer College, had students in one of his classes donate bottled water.
The various collection efforts were coordinated by Ken Kulas ’04, who is operations manager for the Office of Student Centers and Activities, as well as a graduate student regent and former member of Alpha Sigma Phi.
Many members of the university community have made financial contributions to the relief efforts as well. Alpha Sigma Phi donated $500 and collected another $700 from students. The fraternity’s $1,200 contribution will be matched by the employer of a former Alpha Sigma Phi member.
In addition, University of Hartford students raised thousands of dollars for hurricane relief on Sept. 7 through the “Miss a Meal” effort initiated by the university and ARAMARK. On that day, residential students on meal plans had the option of skipping lunch or dinner and donating the value of the meal to hurricane relief.
More than 425 students donated a meal. Since students were also able to donate Hawk Cash, the final amount raised has not yet been determined, but it is expected to be in excess of $5,000.
Many of those involved in the various collection efforts on campus said they were overwhelmed by the response of the university community.
When Alpha Sigma Phi members went through the residence halls asking for donations for hurricane relief, they expected cash-strapped students to contribute spare change and dollar bills. But many students donated $5, $10, and even $20, said Alpha Sigma Phi member Charles Grey.
Grey and other Alpha Sigma Phi members noted that many alumni came back to campus to donate items for hurricane relief.
Matt Carlin ‘04, an Americorps VISTA worker at the Center for Community Service, said he was shocked when he entered his office on Sept. 6 to see all the donated goods that Alpha Sigma Phi had collected over the Labor Day weekend.
“I was kind of speechless. I couldn’t believe the amount that had been collected,” Carlin said. “All of us are very pleased and grateful for the outpouring from the university community.”