Across the United States, people have pulled together to help each other get through the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Soon after the tragedies, Psi Chi emailed and wrote to chapters encouraging them to participate in a service project to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina. We encouraged chapters to target a relief organization such as the American Red Cross, the Houston Food Bank's Virtual Food Drive, or the Salvation Army to receive the collected funds.
After suggesting this to our chapters, emails began to pour in about the activities of our members. Some chapters had begun service projects as soon as word spread about the aftereffects of Katrina. The initiatives of our chapters helped and will continue to help the victims of the hurricanes and their families. Listed below are activities reported by Psi Chi chapters regarding Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Psi Chi is extremely proud of the members of our organization!
The Arkansas State University Psi Chi Chapter held a donation drive on September 8. They collected about five bags of toys, clothes, food, and blankets for local shelters set up in Jonesboro for evacuees. In addition, $130 was earmarked for learning and educational supplies, and approximately $350 was raised for the local of Red Cross chapter. Several Psi Chi members attended Red Cross disaster training and plan to volunteer in shelters.
The California State University at Long Beach Psi Chi Chapter teamed up with two other psychology student organizations (Psychology Student Association and Human Factors Ergonomics Society) and held a bake sale to benefit survivors of Katrina. The bake sale was held on September 13 and raised $660. The organizations donated the money to the American Red Cross.
The Chapman University (CA) Psi Chi Chapter met for the first time in the new academic year on September 12, 2005. They discussed in length what they could do as an organization to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Members of the chapter voted to donate $300 to the American Red Cross.
The Charleston Southern University (SC) Psi Chi Chapter started a hurricane fundraiser and initially collected $150 through the simple request of asking for donations.
The Chatham College (PA) Psi Chi Chapter sent a donation to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The College of St. Joseph (VT) Psi Chi Chapter worked directly with the Red Cross and were involved in a college-wide fundraising effort as well as a divisional effort to assist victims.
The Coppin State University (MD) Psi Chi Chapter collected donations for the Hurricane Katrina Fund for the American Red Cross.
The Drury University (MO) Psi Chi Chapter collected $100 to donate to the Red Cross for the Hurricane Katrina relief. A non-perishable food drive, held in the form of a contest between academic departments, was also conducted for victims that are now living in the Springfield, MO area. 237 lbs. of food was donated to Ozark Food Harvest.
The Emporia State University (KS) Psi Chi Chapter contributed $500 to the American Red Cross and $500 to Emporia State University's fundraising efforts for Hurricane Katrina.
The Gallaudet University (DC) Psi Chi Chapter raised funds for three organizations: American Red Cross, Gallaudet University Hurricane Katrina fund, and the Louisiana School for the Deaf-Hurricane Katrina fund.
The Grand Valley State University (MI) Psi Chi Chapter contributed a check to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Katrina relief.
The James Madison University (VA) Psi Chi Chapter raised $61 for the Katrina efforts.
The Jamestown College (ND) Psi Chi Chapter donated $100 to the local Salvation Army, which sent four men to New Orleans to help with cleanup efforts.
The Kentucky Wesleyan College Psi Chi Chapter, in conjunction with the psychology club, raised $277 for Hurricane Katrina relief. The chapter decided to donate the money to Comfort for Kids through Mercy Corps Inc. Comfort for Kids is set up to give displaced children psycho-social support.
The Millersville University (PA) Psi Chi Chapter donated their $100 Model Chapter Award to the American Red Cross of the Susquehanna Valley for the disaster relief associated with the recent hurricanes of Katrina and Rita.
The St. Mary's College of Maryland Psi Chi Chapter held a ribbon sale to raise money to support the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. They made a donation of $335 in Psi Chi's name to the American Red Cross.
The Saint Norbert College (WI) Psi Chi Chapter donated $200 to the American Red Cross-Hurricane Katrina relief fund. The donation was made possible because of fundraising efforts last year.
The Southern Connecticut State University Psi Chi Chapter organized a combination bake sale for donations and collection of essential items (bottled water, blankets, etc.) to benefit hurricane victims. The event was held on September 8, just a week after the semester started. They collected money in a water cooler jug and challenged the student body to fill the jug (it was about 2/3 to the top). When they counted the money, after finding a way to get it out of the jug, they were very pleasantly surprised to find the donations totaled $551. The money collected went to the local Red Cross chapter for hurricane relief efforts. Items collected were taken to the local armory and will be distributed to the victims by the CT National Guard.
The Stephen F. Austin State University (TX) Psi Chi Chapter received a Model Chapter Award and donated that sum to the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. Individual members volunteered in local hurricane relief efforts in the name of the chapter. The chapter also brought in a guest speaker from the university to encourage and educate the membership on the volunteer opportunities in the community and on campus at Stephen F. Austin State University.
The University of Arkansas Psi Chi Chapter hosted a practice GRE with the help of Kaplan Testing Services. They collected $5 per person at the door. The chapter raised a total of $165 and sent the money to the American Red Cross.
The University of Colorado at Denver Psi Chi Chapter was contacted by a recent graduate of the university whose family lives in Louisiana. The student spent about six weeks working in shelters. The chapter collected gently used clothing, new adult and kid clothes, toys, books, and travel bags/suitcases, so she could distribute the items to people living in the shelters. The chapter also made a donation of $75 to the Red Cross-Hurricane Relief efforts.
The University of Kansas Psi Chi Chapter donated a third of its chapter dues for fall inductees to the American Red Cross.
The University of Mary Washington (VA) Psi Chi chapter has been very active in raising funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. In the weeks following the disaster, the chapter assisted the university's Community Outreach and Resources (C.O.A.R.) office to raise funds for the Red Cross. Members of Psi Chi volunteered hours of their time to solicit donations from students in the local campus center and at a special fundraising concert. These initial efforts of the chapter, in cooperation with C.O.A.R. and other campus organizations helped the campus community raise approximately $15,000 for the relief effort.
The University of North Carolina at Asheville Psi Chi Chapter, along with ClubPsych (psychology club) raised $1,000 in an effort to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Psi Chi Chapter participated in a campus-wide fundraiser, called Fill the Fountain, to help relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In preparation, a departmental and chapter fundraiser collected donations of $50 on behalf of Psi Chi and the psychology department. At the event, the chapter orchestrated face and mask painting and made $75. The chapter set a goal to raise $100, reaching $125 from their efforts. All together, the whole "Fill the Fountain" event raised over $8,000 in donations to the Red Cross from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington Psi Chi Chapter raised $772, which was donated to the American Red Cross. Contributions came from a weekly bake sale (one week after Hurricane Katrina), through an advertised Red Cross donation can placed in their department's main office, and from solicitations to faculty members.
The University of South Carolina Aiken Psi Chi Chapter held a donation drive for Hurricane Katrina victims, and were proud to report donating a little over $87 on behalf of their chapter to the American Red Cross.
The University of Texas at Tyler Psi Chi Chapter raised funds through a T-shirt "giveaway" with an $8 minimum donation to the UT Tyler Katrina Relief fund. The UT Tyler Patriot Center has been housing a Red Cross shelter for Katrina evacuees, including evacuees from the New Orleans Superdome. Members raised $612 from the endeavor and contributed another $398 from general revenues (accumulated dues) for a total contribution of $1,010.00.
Winter 2006 issue of Eye on Psi Chi (Vol. 10, No. 2, p. 69), published by Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology (Chattanooga, TN). Copyright, 2005 by Psi Beta. Reprinted with permission.