Student organizations helping tornado-affected students

FILE - Volunteers, mostly from the Mayfield Consumer Products factory, help salvage possessions from the destroyed home of Martha Thomas, in the aftermath of tornadoes that tore through the region several days earlier, in Mayfield, Ky., Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Americans across the country are pitching in to help after last week’s tornadoes ravaged the South and Midwest, killing at least 90 people and displacing hundreds. Volunteers, backed by national and local aid groups, are lending a hand at the hardest-hit areas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

By Janelle Sears

In the destructive aftermath of several tornadoes that blew through Tallahassee, two student-led organizations joined together to assist students in the area that have been severely impacted by the damage of the storms.

Inspired by the sudden hardship their peers were now facing, The Beta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and The Gamma Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated partnered to fund four 250-dollar scholarships to distribute to students in need.

“I reached out to the Gamma Alpha chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,Incorporated to match the 500 dollars that I convinced my chapter to put up.” said Matthew Rivera, a senior, about the collaboration.

Rivera serves as the Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters Assistant District Director and decided to act after personally knowing students caught in the storm’s damage that were now facing unexpected financial burden.

“The goal was really to help those in need. There were students who not only lost power and food but lost their homes and vehicles due to trees falling on them,” said Samantha Lubin, a second-year PharmD student who serves as the Gamma Alpha chapter president.

Lubin ensures that her organization continues to share resources from around the community and is ready to support the community in the event of another natural disaster.

“The scholarship helped me stock up on baby formula and baby water for my son and water for myself, and I replaced some food with the money that was left over,” said Arianna Cromarty, one of the recipients of the relief fund.

Cromarty’s main concern was the safety of her young child, so when there was a tree that continuously hit her window, Arianna made sure to take shelter with her son. The tree eventually fell on her car, to no critical damage, and without power until the following Wednesday. The young mother found out about the relief fund from friends sending it to her via Instagram.

Since May 10, there have been efforts made from around the urban Tallahassee community to expedite the area’s recovery. The Beta Nu Chapter continues to work with their local alumni and Florida State University collegiate chapters to continue impacting the larger community in this time of need. The collaboration with the Gamma Alpha Chapter was a significant part of their recent efforts, aimed at providing additional support to students. By pooling resources and coordinating this initiative, these chapters are striving to address both immediate recovery needs and long-term community development. This united approach exemplifies the strength and resilience of the Tallahassee community in the face of adversity.