PC students rally to help flood victims

Blake Roberts, Staff Writer

It has been a difficult October for South Carolina, to say the least.

Beginning Oct. 1, historic flooding hit the state, caused by the close brush of Hurricane Joaquin. It has been described as a 1 in 1,000 years rain event; or, every year, there is only a one in one thousandth chance to experience this level of rainfall. Some areas, such as Mount Pleasant, Georgetown and Kingstree received over 20 inches of rainfall from Oct. 1 to 6.

The damage has been immense. Over 300 roads, bridges and 16 miles of I-95 southbound were closed. 19 people have died, and over 1,000 people have evacuated, and over 40,000 people are without clean water.

 President Obama issued a disaster declaration for South Carolina, and has sent federal supplies and troops. Native South Carolinian and host of “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert used his show to spread awareness of the devastation. A call for help and support under the Twitter hash tag #PrayforSC has spread across the nation, and students at Presbyterian College have answered.

Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu and Pi Kappa Phi worked together to host an effort to collect goods and money for the flood-water victims. Everything collected was donated to Transitions, an organization in Columbia that is housing those left homeless by the flooding.

The flood relief efforts were made possible thanks to Pi Kapp, Pike and Sigma Nu. Photo courtesy of Blake Roberts.
The flood relief efforts were made possible thanks to Pi Kapp, Pike and Sigma Nu. Photo courtesy of Blake Roberts.

“Canned foods are always helpful because our numbers are up,” said Craig Currey, CEO of Transitions. In addition, “we pass the toiletries out to people, which are very useful.”

Transitions’ facilities have 260 beds, with an additional 70 day-only rooms. During the worst of the flooding, they gave shelter to 400 people. In addition to overcrowding, “when the water pressure went out, we had to buy water to use for the toilets and showers,” Currey said.

“This flood has been difficult to everyone, so when the community opens its hearts, espe-cially to the homeless, its heartwarming,” Currey said. “The fact that you guys are thinking about us down in Columbia warms my heart. I really can’t thank every individual student enough.”

Junior Graham Bailey of Sigma Nu was a volunteer who manned the fundraising table in Springs Community Center. He said, “The response from PC over-all has been even better than we had hoped.” By the end of the week, the fraternities had gathered enough donated supplies to fill an entire pickup truck.

“It’s been inspiring to see our motto put into action over the past week, and it brings on a sense of pride to see our community rally to support our state as a whole,” he added.

And they aren’t done yet. All Greek organizations, along with PC, set up a table at New Bailey Stadium from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17.

“Many students, including myself, are from the Columbia area, and were either personally affected by the flood or knew someone close that was affected by this disaster,” said senior Collins Shirley. “I am more than excited to see how the students and alumni will come together for this difficult time this weekend.”

It is truly uplifting to see PC’s motto of “Dum Vivimus Servimus,” or “while we live, we serve,” so concretely displayed by the entire student body. Donations were collected by the Greek organizations’ table on Saturday at the Homecoming football game.