UND helps after hurricanes

Staff, faculty and students lead campus efforts to support storm victims

Diane Fugleberg, Patricia Reed and Austin Theisen

UND Staff Senators and members of the Senate’s Community Relations Committee (left to right) Diane Fugleberg, facilities; Patricia Reed, Chester Fritz Library and committee chair; and June Novacek, Energy & Environmental Research Center, display special hurricane relief donation buckets that are situated around campus. Not pictured are fellow Community Relations Committee members Teri Salway, Education; and Austin Theisen, School of Medicine & Health Sciences.

The Greater Grand Forks community knows what devastation looks like.

But we’ve also witnessed what hope looks like.

Twenty years ago, volunteers and benefactors around the country came together to help Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and neighboring rural areas find healing after historic flood and fire. Now, the University of North Dakota campus is finding ways to send that borrowed love and support south, to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

This week, the UND Staff Senate is partnering with the Grand Forks United Way to collect monetary donations during State Employee Recognition Week events.

“This is what we do.  We want to help,” said Patricia Reed, UND Staff Senate Community Relations Committee chair. “We especially feel the desire to help in disaster efforts to pay it forward for all the help our town, and UND, received from our own disaster we experienced.  This is such a tragic and traumatic experience and I personally know the how much the relief organizations help people get through it.”

You can find the Staff Senate hurricane donation box at the Sept. 12 Staff and Faculty Luncheon at the Memorial Union (11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.), as well as at the Sept. 14 Pie on the Porch event at Carnegie Hall (2:00- 3:30 p.m.).

Money collected this week will be passed to the United Way of Texas and Florida, where it will be dispersed to relief organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Staff Senate will also hold a special Denim Spirit Day on Wednesday, Sept. 27, with funds collected that day going specifically to hurricane relief efforts. On Friday, Oct. 6, regular Denim Spirit Day collections will be given to the Salvation Army National Disaster Fund.

“We want to provide opportunities for UND employees to contribute monetarily to organizations in the area and to national organization’s events,” Reed said. “We want to show our support and help in any way we can.”

Student-athletes step up

Lyndsay Hathaway

Lyndsay Hathaway, Clovis, Calif., a junior outfielder for UND Softball  and sociology major, is heading up a hurricane relief effort in her role as president of UND’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

UND’s Fighting Hawks are also doing their part to send some strength to those hit the hardest by the storms.

The basketball and hockey teams have offered up shoes and team apparel for hurricane victims, and UND’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is leading a donation drive through the American Red Cross.

UND Softball outfielder and SAAC President Lyndsay Hathaway, Clovis, Calif., said after hearing the stories of those affected by the 1997 Grand Forks flood, she knew SAAC needed to get involved.

“Since 1997, our city has come together and has overcome disaster. By partnering with the American Red Cross, we can help aid the Texas area and help them to overcome this terrible devastation,” said Hathaway, a sociology major. “We have many connections to the Texas area within our athletics department. It was hard not to do something.”

Andres Freeman, assistant director of Athletic Academic Services and SAAC liaison, noted that next to academics, community service is a top priority for UND student-athletes.

“It starts from the top down, from our Athletic Director to our coaches and staff to the athletes themselves,” Freeman said. “Our athletes are passionate about helping so many, which is in return creating great leaders off the field, court and ice.”

“It’s our responsibility to give back to our community and share our love with those who support us,” Hathaway added. “The ability to give back to not only the Grand Forks community, but to show service to others, is something we enjoy and would never take for granted.”

To make a secure donation to the UND Athletics Red Cross drive, simply visit this link.

Ruck for Recovery

Another student group will be lacing up to lend support. The Maj. Thomas J. Clifford Squadron of the Arnold Air Society, an Air Force ROTC honor organization, is holding a Ruck for Recovery on Sunday, September 17.

Cadets, students and others will ruck – or march – 15 miles from the ROTC armory to the Grand Forks Air Force Base to raise awareness and funds for hurricane disaster relief.

“Together, a lot of us felt helpless,” said Cadet Ryan D’Auteuil. “We’re full-time students and cadets, and we have commitments we can’t break, even though a lot of us would have liked to go to Texas or Florida and help out. This was the best way we could imagine to aid others and make a difference.”

There are a number of ways to support the Ruck for Recovery. The group is inviting the public to join in the 15-mile march if they are able, which leaves from the armory at 9 a.m. You can also give to their GoFundMe page (all proceeds to the American Red Cross), or donate food and supplies for the journey (contact ryan.dauteuil@und.edu to coordinate a supply donation).

Ruck for Recovery has already raised more than half of its $3,000 goal, but the support goes beyond money collected.

“Our military brothers and sisters have put considerably more hours into helping than we will on our 4-5 hour ruck on Sunday,” D’Auteuil said. “This is the least we can do.”