Texas A&M University – Kingsville (AMK) students are collecting donations for the victims of the Bastrop County Complex fire. The fundraising effort started on Oct. 5 and will continue through Oct. 17.
The fire, which started on Sep. 4 and was extinguished 26 days later, burned over 34,000 acres of land and destroyed over 1,600 homes, creating a devastating impact on residents in that area.
Joe Castillo, a psychology major at AMK, organized the effort and has been getting help from many organizations, such as PEP Talk, the Catholic Student Organization and the Resident Housing Association (RHA), as well as many others.
“I approached the different organizations to see who wanted to help with the cause,” Castillo said.
The response has been great according to Castillo, so much so that the deadline to raise money has been extended.
“The fundraising dates were set for the 5th through the 8th, but there’s actually other people who want to get their organizations involved,” Castillo said, “so we extended it another week.”
The efforts are focusing solely on monetary donations, but organizations are using various ways to collect money.
“We don’t know what they (the victims) need,” said Alyssa Trevino, a graduate student majoring in counseling and guidance and member of PEP Talk. “This way we can raise as much as we can and send it off so they can distribute it how they need.”
PEP Talk, an organization that helps students focus on their overall well being, set up a donation table in the Memorial Student Union Building (MSUB) during lunch hours.
“For being there those few hours, we actually did pretty good,” said Tevino. According to Trevino, some people donated without question.
Other organizations set up a bake sale and the Catholic Student Organization (CSO) donated a check to the cause.
“The CSO was supposed to do a fundraiser,” said Ezinne Offordile, an Early Childhood Development major. “The church decided to give funds instead of doing a fundraiser, so we gave $200 instead of doing an actual fundraiser.”
All donations will be sent to the American Red Cross for distribution to those victims of the disaster area.
Castillo has also set up a Facebook page as a way to keep people posted of different ways to help out on campus. Information will include times, dates and places where fundraising will be held. For more information visit Facebook and search “Bastrop Wildfire Relief Effort.”
By: Philip Perez