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ATO begins relief effort for victims of Hurricane Michael

Volunteers+helping+with+hurricane+relief.+Photo+by+Yusef+Tus.
Volunteers helping with hurricane relief. Photo by Yusef Tus.

Volunteers helping with hurricane relief. Photo by Yusef Tus.

Volunteers helping with hurricane relief. Photo by Yusef Tus.

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In the wake of Hurricane Michael, several cities in the Florida panhandle are destroyed and many are still without power. The Alpha Zeta chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) at Mercer University seeks to offer help to those still in need.

Jacob Pate, ATO vice president, said that after he and his brothers saw the devastation in Florida, they couldn’t sit idly by.

“We saw all the damage,” he said. “And immediately decided we wanted to do something to help.”

The fraternity accepted donations and supplies the entire week of Oct. 15-19, right after the hurricane passed through.

In just five days, the brothers of ATO collected gas, gas cans, coolers, tarps, water, Gatorade, non-perishable food and other items to aid the victims of Hurricane Michael.

They reached out to the local Ronald McDonald House for a trailer to help transport donations for their first trip to Florida Oct. 19, where they stopped in Lynn Haven and Panama City.

Pate also said the brothers will be volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a non-governmental organization that provides aid to people affected by natural disasters and other tragedies as part of Christian missionary work, according to its website.

The brothers will be helping this charity to clean up the debris, cut up trees and tarp houses. Pate said the fraternity has raised over $300, some of which will be donated to help the organization stock up on supplies.

“We understand there’s only so much we can do,” Pate said. “But we want to help as much as possible. We’re also planning another trip down in the near future to help with rebuilding and also deliver whatever supplies people may need.”

He said ATO will continue helping with relief efforts throughout the semester.

“For the next trip, we’re trying hard to make it a school wide thing to help with the rebuild. We’re thinking of a weekend in November,” Pate said.

The fraternity will also continue to accept items or monetary donations at their house in Greek Village.

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ATO begins relief effort for victims of Hurricane Michael