Photo Courtesy of MTSU’s SGA
Story by Alexis Marshall/ Contributing Writer
Middle Tennessee State University’s Student Government Association partnered with Tennessee Technological University this week to deliver supplies to the victims of the Gatlinburg wildfire.
Dry conditions and high winds caused the fire to spread Monday night. Residents had to evacuate their homes. The fire destroyed about 1,684 structures and have killed up to 14 people.
SGA President Madison Tracy delivered donations Friday morning to the TTU Student Government Vice-President, Miranda Stoltz, who will take the items to shelters in Gatlinburg. Tracy said she learned about this opportunity through Stoltz. The two student government representatives met at a leadership retreat this summer.
“I did not anticipate the number of people who would be donating,” Tracy said. She said she praised faculty and students for taking time out of their study day to help.
MTSU professors, Dr. Warren Gill and Dr. Cliff Ricketts, also asked guests to bring donations for survivors to their retirement party before the supplies were delivered. Gill said he was “thrilled with the response.” According to Gill, they received so many items that he had to take two loads to the SGA office.
Gill also delivered $200 in donated cash to the office to help cover travel expenses for students delivering the supplies to Cookeville.
“I strongly commend MTSU SGA’s efforts, and it is even better that it is a partnership with TTU,” Gill said.
Tracy said she and others spent all day Thursday packing blankets, food and toiletries.
“I am blown away by the heart MTSU has for their neighbors. It’s incredible,” Tracy said. “I’m so thankful to be part of a community that is so caring and thoughtful.”