Cameron creates Dominica donation drive
Student Life Editor
“The National Hurricane Center declared that Tropical Storm Erika dissipated near the north coast of eastern Cuba at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015.
The impacts of Tropical Storm Erika left roads washed out, homes damaged and an airport flooded across Dominica in the Lesser Antilles on Aug. 27.
On Aug.29, NBC News reported, “The prime minister of the Caribbean island of Dominica said Friday that at least 20 people have died in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Erika.”
After hearing about the natural disaster abroad, Cameron math instructor Irene Corriette decided to take action.
She organized a Dominica donation drive from Sept. 8-11, with drop-off locations at Ross Hall and the MCC.
Organizations who helped with the drive include Students of the Caribbean (SOCA), MathCom and International Club, as well as students and faculty from the math department and from across campus, including Dr. Thapa, Megan Canfield and Janet Williams.
People on and off campus donated items such as non-perishable foods, water, clothing for babies, and diapers.
Corriette said the organization that is in charge of the drop-off locations nationwide is the Dominica American Relief and Development Association (DARDA).
“They’re a US-based group that started back in 1979 when we had Hurricane David hit the island [Dominica] and just totally devastated the island.” Corriette said.
This donation drive was especially important to Corriette because she is originally from Dominica.
“I do have family there: my mother, sister, brother, uncles, aunts,” she said. “We had one person whose house got flooded – their property got flooded. It was a lot of damage.”
Corriette said a river actually swept away one of her uncles during the tropical storm.
“He was able to get out,” she said, “so that was close, but we were pretty lucky. We didn’t have any loss of life, and everyone’s okay, so that’s really good.”
When the donation drive was ongoing, Corriette said a couple of her students told her that they would bring supplies.
“I thought that is so great,” she said. “One of my students said she went to her church and had them get stuff, so she has a whole car load of stuff to bring in, so that’s really special. I’m very hopeful.”
Also from the Caribbean is the president of SOCA, Diandra Pierre, who is a business management major.
Pierre said she is appreciative of the number of items donated.
“The drive was very successful based on the short period of time in which it was conducted,” Pierre said. “Us carrying on this drive really will help improve their lives in terms of providing food and clothing for persons who are in need.
“I just want to say thank you so much to all those who gave”
For students who would still like to donate items to the people whose lives were impacted by Tropical Storm Erika, visit darda.org for a list of contacts and drop-off locations.