ASCC assists students in need after Cyclone Gita

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Marketing Committee, in collaboration with the Student Government Association (SGA) and student clubs on campus, last week concluded an a food drive to provide assistance to students at the College whose homes were damaged by February’s Cyclone Gita. Even a month after the cyclone, a number of ASCC students continue to struggle with its aftermath, challenged to provide basic necessities like food and clothing. The ASCC Marketing Committee, assisted by the SGA and the student clubs launched a week long collection effort both on and off campus, and then organized the distribution of the donated food, clothing and other items according to the identified needs of individual students.

Before beginning collection efforts, the Marketing Committee got word through to affected students by making announcements at classes and student assemblies, asking for students in need to add their names, contact numbers and other information to a list on which the overall donation activities would be based. The resulting list identified a high number of students coping with misfortunes ranging from minor damage to residences and property to homes completely destroyed with all belongings lost.

Shortly after the completion of the data base of students in need, the SGA and other student clubs volunteered their time and efforts to staff drop-off stations for food, clothing and other items at several locations on the ASCC campus. KS Mart also agreed to let ASCC students and staff set up a drop off point on their premises, which gave the public an opportunity to contribute. An highly generous contribution to the ASCC food drive also came from Operation Love, a recently-formed community assistance organization led by Mrs. Carol Hong.

The ASCC students who had signed-up on the list of those in need were contacted and asked to meet this past Monday afternoon in the auditorium of the College’s Multi-Purpose Center. The Marketing Committee, SGA and other student clubs had previously sorted all of the donated food, household items, toiletries and other items into bundles intended for individual students based on their indicated degree of need. In addition, each recipient received a large bag which they could fill from the selection of used clothing. Once again, Operation Love contributed to the effort by showing up with additional food and clothing.

When all of the students on the distribution list, along with some last-minute additions, had been given an assistance package, a small amount of items were left over, which the Marketing Committee intends to return to Operation Love for their use in other relief activities. “On behalf of our President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato, the SGA and all the student organizations on campus, I would like to thank you for your donations made to our food drive,” wrote Marketing Committee chairman Peteru Lam Yuen in a memo to the ASCC faculty and staff. “We called on you to support of our students affected by Cyclone Gita, and your donations have helped them as they face the challenge of rebuilding their lives.”

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