(Neb)-CSC Students Send Flood Recovery Items To NE Neb
L-R: Kenade Tomjack, Brittany Soukup, Rebeca Hiatt
Photo and Story -Tena L. Cook/CSC Marketing Coordinator
CHADRON – When news about flooding in eastern Nebraska reached Chadron State College, members of the science honorary organization Beta Beta Beta started discussing what they could do to help.
“Literally, the next day we had donation boxes and bins in place across campus with signs on them saying what people needed. The first week, we worked with Wahlstrom Ford because they were doing their collection for the Fremont area,” said Beta Beta Beta’s president Brittany Soukup of O’Neill, Nebraska.
The items collected included bottled water, cleaning supplies, paper products, rugs, bath mats, kitchen supplies, fans, towels, and cleaning equipment.
CSC alumnus A.J. Huffman, with Wahlstrom Ford, said he did not expect the CSC students to collect as much as they did.
“It's awesome how the students and staff came together to help. We sent over a truck and when it came back, it was completely full. The community as a whole is amazing, along with the college. I wasn’t surprised that people wanted to help,” Huffman said.
Soukup said the club members contacted CSC student Rebecca Hiatt of Spencer, Nebraska, the following week, and asked her to deliver a load of donated items to her hometown.
Items collected during the third week were sent with CSC student Kenade Tomjack to the O’Neill area.
Soukup said the effort to deliver items to eastern Nebraska will continue as long as donations continue.
“It’s great seeing Nebraska pull together in the face of so much loss and heartbreak. Even though Chadron has not been hit directly with that much flooding, they were still able to help people across the state which is a really awesome thing to see. Lots of club members have worked on the project and two Mormon missionaries helped us sort and pack contributions,” Soukup said.
Hiatt said she volunteered in the Lynch flood relief center, about 13 miles from Spencer, since it was hit harder than her hometown.
“You saw the destruction [in Lynch]. People were out of their houses. We were stripping everything out of the houses down to just studs,” Hiatt said.
When Hiatt brought donations from CSC to Spencer, the community had run out of storage space so she delivered the items to Lynch instead.
Volunteers in Spencer are also helping residents in western Knox County because the Mormon Canal Bridge went out.
“We’ve kind of adopted them,” Hiatt said. “People are very grateful. A lot of people lost their houses and are displaced. Small communities look out for other small communities.”
Because other bridges are also washed out, Hiatt’s normal 30-minute drive from Spencer to O’Neill is now a detour of more than an hour.
Tomjack said her family near O’Neill was surprised with the donated items she brought from CSC.
“They were stunned. People are very grateful and humbled that a group of college kids can band together to do something like this,” Tomjack said.
Beta Beta Beta faculty adviser Dr. Ann Buchmann also delivered more than a carload of donated supplies from the CSC campus to the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Health Board that is assisting residents in the flooded sections of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Buchman said she is proud of the students’ efforts and grateful for generosity of the campus community.
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