UVA Students K.A.R.E. for Katrina Victims

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

September 5, 2005

A group of UVA students used the first football game to kick off Katrina Relief efforts of their own.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is a sight that's becoming too familiar to Americans.

"This storm has in one way or another indirectly or directly impacted us all," said Amir Shahien, UVA 3rd year and resident of New Orleans. "It's not an event that happened across an ocean somewhere, its right here in the United States."

That's why hundreds of miles away here in Charlottesville, University of Virginia students created K.A.R.E, Katrina Aid and Relief Efforts. It's an organization helping assist those directly affected by last Sunday's hurricane.

"It seems the best way to do that was financially. That's what so many people say they need is money right now," said Jessica White, K.A.R.E. organizer.

White is a native from New Orleans and she along with 89 UVA students, 30 from the gulf area, are making sure they do all they can to help their neighbors back home.

"The motivation to start this program was just to have the students both from the area immediately affected and not even from the area rally together to help people along the gulf coast in any way we could," explained White.

The K.A.R.E. project's first fundraiser was put on in only three days. The idea was to ask for donations at UVA's first football game. They met with university officials on Wednesday, Saturday they were at the game in full force helping others give back.

"I just knew that if something like this happened to this area, I know that I'd want someone to help me out" said K.A.R.E. supporter Jullie Hudson.

"It's very emotional to watch and it's really tough to see [what people] can go through," said Jared Wallace, 11-year-old K.A.R.E. supporter.

With help of organizations like K.A.R.E., Hurricane Katrina's victims are not going through it alone.

The official total collected will not be available until Tuesday.

K.A.R.E. plans to join other campus organizations to support relief efforts.

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