Following the lingering affects of Hurricane Florence, Tri-County Community College’s Tau Upsilon Alpha Honor Society spent the last few weeks of the semester collecting gift cards to be donated to students, faculty, and staff at Pamlico Community College, who are still suffering in the aftermath of the storm.
“Hurricane Florence left a tide of devastation in the Eastern part of our state in September,” said Tri-County Community College President Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers. “The media coverage in its aftermath might have dissipated; however, it was obvious that the need of our fellow North Carolina residents has not.”
The idea to hold a gift card fundraising drive started when Lindi Gentry-Lechelt, human services instructor and adviser for the Tau Upsilon Alpha honors society at Tri-County Community College, went to a conference and spent time talking to employees who were still being affected by the hurricane which battered the state earlier this fall.
Around the same time, Tipton-Rogers said she decided to organize a hurricane relief effort following a North Carolina Community College System presidents meeting, where the aftermath of Hurricane Florence was prominent.
“In the spirit of the holiday season, we at Tri-County Community College wanted to pay it forward to our fellow college located in Grantsboro,” Tipton-Rogers said.
Tipton-Rogers, Gentry-Lechelt and members of the Tau Upsilon Honors Society worked throughout the end of November together to bring the fundraiser to all three college locations.
“I have to thank all our amazing faculty, staff, and students for pitching in to help out our sister college during the holiday season,” Gentry-Lechelt said.
Gentry-Lechelt said the original goal of the drive was to raise $500 in gift cards from stores such as Walmart, Target, Lowes, or Home Depot, as well as any restaurant ranging from McDonalds to Outback Steakhouse.
“I’m thrilled to say we not only met our goal, but exceeded it. Our college family ended up raising more than $600 to be sent to Pamlico Community College just in time for the holidays,” Gentry-Lechelt said.
According to Gentry-Lechelt, the goals of Tau Upsilon Alpha are to honor academic excellence, to foster lifelong learning, leadership, and development, and to promote excellence in service to humanity.
“Since being awarded a chapter of Tau Upsilon Alpha, our college has worked at the local and state level to give back to our community,” Gentry-Lechelt said. “This fundraising drive is one of many projects we have planned to benefit our service area and beyond.”
For more information regarding the college’s human services programs of study or TUA Honor Society, contact Gentry-Lechelt at (828) 835-4280.
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