#DominicaStrong Grambling Students and Community Pray and Raise Funds To Assist Those Affected By Category 5 Hurricane Maria

Grambling students and community gather to pray and raise funds for those affected by the category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Maria, the second storm to hit the Caribbean this month.

The storm hit the island of Dominica the night of September 18, 2017 coming in at nearly 160 miles per hour that blew off roofs of buildings and several homes.

Grambling alum, Tamai Larocque said, “I finally got a hold of my family and they said most of the roof is gone off of our home, leaves and water are all over, but they are alive and in my daughter’s room, which is the only room that still has a roof, although it’s leaking.” “They are hanging in there, thank you Jesus for your protection,” she said.

The Grambling community is also extremely grateful that several families were able to evacuate to safe areas. The university held a prayer at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Eddie the Tiger for those students and their families that are from the island.

“Whether we’re collecting necessities for the victims or raising funds to help those families who have been harmed by Maria, it’s important that the Grambling community rally around our students and their families who need us most,” said SGA president, Adarian Williams.

British defense forces were deployed to the Virgin Islands to aid in the recovery. (NY Daily News)

Although, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday morning that Hurricane Maria is set to move away from Dominica, the home of nearly 72,000 residents, it was a huge scare and a reminder of the effects of Storm Erika that occurred a few years ago that devastated students attending GSU from Dominica.

Storm Erika was a severe  tropical storm that left 20 people dead, about 50 missing and a land filled with destroyed homes and livelihoods.

So far, CNN has only reported one death in Guadeloupe due to Hurricane Maria after a man was struck by a falling tree.

“I’m not sure exactly how to feel since I have yet to confirm what has happened on my part of the island, being that there is no communication, ” said senior GSU student, Alickson Alexander. “I have a feeling of helplessness and worry.”

The phone and internet signals in Dominica appeared to be down, leaving the island virtually incommunicado on Tuesday morning.

On a student-run radio show at the university, ‘Mionne in the Morning’, host Mionne and her co-hosts Ya’Lisha Gatewood and Donald Carral Jr. ‘JusDeeJay’ also sent prayers to those affected. Mionne mentioned the life-changing effects the storm had on several students in her dormitory, where many international students reside on campus and ‘JustDeeJay’ said he wished in addition to prayers that money could be raised for the students and their families.

Fortunately, The Student Government Association was able to jump right on that! The students leaders have initiated efforts to create a relief fund.

While the damage to many individuals’ homes and businesses has been devastating, we can help those affected by this tragedy. If you are interested in helping the victims or you’d like to offer your support, click here:  DONATE HERE!

Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, said, ““So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace,” he said. “My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”

According to The New York Times the storm has regained it’s Category 5 strength, after briefly dropping to Category 4. The “potentially catastrophic” storm is expected to approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

With a long recovery ahead for Dominica, GSU students remind all that any donation, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated. The Student Government Association at GSU supports the storm relief efforts, and we ask that you please do the same!

Prayers also go out to Mexico, a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck central Mexico on the anniversary of 1985 earthquake. (At least 200 persons have been reported dead.) 


E'Vonne Gipson60 Posts

Follow E'Vonne: Instagram: @forever_evonne Twitter: @EVonneGipson SC: @byevonnegipson E'Vonne Gipson is an award winning journalist from Missouri City, TX. She is a graduate of Grambling State University where she received a B.A. degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in journalism and public relations. Gipson has written for several publications including Sheen Magazine, HBCU Buzz, The Black Beat, The News-Star, The Ruston Daily Leader, JubileeMag.com, and Houston Style Magazine. She is a former business reporting intern at Abilene Reporter-News in Abilene, TX and a current social media intern for MC Lyte's Hip Hop Sisters Network. She first began her journalism career writing for her school's newspaper "The Gramblinite". In 2016, Gipson worked with the Web Department at Houston television station, KHOU-11 TV where she gained professional photography and social media skills. Gipson is currently a producer at USA Today Network newspaper, The News-Star in Monroe. She is a member of The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


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