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Hurricane Irma aftermath

Jacksonville+University+campus+clean-up+after+Hurricane+Irma.+Students.+faculty%2C+and+staff+gather+the+day+after+the+hurricane+to+participate+in+this+initiative.+
Jacksonville University campus clean-up after Hurricane Irma. Students. faculty, and staff gather the day after the hurricane to participate in this initiative.

Jacksonville University campus clean-up after Hurricane Irma. Students. faculty, and staff gather the day after the hurricane to participate in this initiative.

Walter Merz

Walter Merz

Jacksonville University campus clean-up after Hurricane Irma. Students. faculty, and staff gather the day after the hurricane to participate in this initiative.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Sometimes, when a devastating event occurs, we can only fall back on our community for help.

In this case, the Jacksonville University family saw Hurricane Irma as an opportunity to give back and help the Arlington community.

“As a University community, our thoughts and prayers are with those whose homes and businesses felt the full effect of this devastating storm,” said JU President Tim Cost in his “The JU Spirit” message to the campus community.

Students, organizations and staff all came out in this joint effort to help bring happiness to Arlington residents, as they volunteered to assist in unloading multiple trucks coming from across the country to deliver food and supplies to those affected in the neighborhood.

Clayton Levins, Community Relations Coordinator for the JU Center for Community Engagement, worked closely with Arlington 20/20 to set up a distribution station at the Town and Country Shopping Center located at 923 University Blvd N. According to an October 2016 article posted by JU’s The Wave magazine, Arlington 20/20’s mission statement aims to engender “measurable spiritual, community, economic and social transformation in Arlington by the year 2020.”

“The student government is all about connecting and helping people, so we saw this as a great opportunity to give back to the Arlington community where our school is in,” said Edward Agyamang-Gyau, president of JU’s Student Government Association.

Additionally, SGA partnered with JU’s International Student Association, JU Lacrosse and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity to help distribute supplies and donations.

“It was really a privilege to help give back and render support to the Arlington community in this time of need,” said Tena Atti, ISA president.

ISA also reached out to its members and other students to help in cleaning up the school campus.

“This would not be our first time helping the school or the community,” said Anna Oyo-Ita Edwards, vice president of ISA. “We have done so in the past with JU’s Charter Day of Service last April, and we look forward to helping to the best of our abilities.”

Still, Hurricane Irma was one of the most destructive natural disasters to hit Florida as a whole.

“Irma was very devastating, and it put the campus in a worse state than Hurricane Mathew did,” said Agyamang-Gyau. “Some parts of the Jacksonville community were flooded, something Mathew did not do.”

“A lot of people were affected by the hurricane and a lot of people lost their houses,” she said. “Businesses where lost as a result of Hurricane Irma, so giving back to the community and helping lift up their spirit would be something the JU family looks forward to doing from now and even in the near future.”

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