Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 11:07
Volunteers from the West Virginia University Center for Civic Engagement braved the heat Friday to collect water donations for West Virginians still affected by power outages. On June 30 a powerful storm known as a "derecho" ravaged the eastern United States, causing 688,000 West Virginians to lose power.
WVUCCE ran donation centers in front of the Mountainlair and the WVU Coliseum.
The collection began at 8 a.m. and lasted until 6 p.m. Workers collected donations of jugs, bottled and gallon drums of water and monetary donations.
Program coordinator Alexis McMillen met with the Red Cross after the disaster to discover what affected West Virginians needed most.
"We immediately talked with the Red Cross to find out what was needed. They let us know water was still needed," McMillen said. "I don’t think a lot of people realize that, of course, a lot of rural residents use well water, and if you don’t have power you can get your well water."
By 11 a.m. the Coliseum donation center had partially filled one U-Haul truck with water donations and raised more than $500. By 3 p.m., volunteer Miranda Talkington reported a large amount of donations at the station by the Mountainlair. "We are looking at already 1,300 dollars, and they already filled a 14 foot U-Haul so we have to get another one," she said.
At the end of the day volunteers had raised $2,000 and 5.89 tons of donated water, equaling more than 1000 cases.
There was a wide array of volunteers at the donation centers, including CCE staff and WVU students.
McMillen also commented on the University’s response to the disaster.
"The University is really great at pulling things together really quickly when it’s needed," she said. "They were kind of waiting to see where some of the holes were in the stats and see what was still needed towards the latter end of this relief effort."
"We pull together at a moment’s notice when we need to," she said..
McMillen was happy to report the CCE has helped with disaster reliefs in the past.
"We’ve had similar efforts for Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti as well as other natural disasters especially when it affects our local residents," she said.
To learn more about the Center for Civic Engagement, visit the website at http://cce.wvu.edu/.