Nacogdoches joins together in Haiti relief

By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - What better way for returning university students to begin a new semester than to help those in need? Alpha Phi Alpha is redirecting its service work to the Haitians.

"We are collecting medical items, clothing,shoes and canned goods and we will be collecting them here in the student center Spirit Lounge for approximately two weeks," sorority member Laterrious Starks said.

Right next to them is a multicultural sorority collecting monetary donations. Students are generous.

"Our organization nationally has been raising money and yesterday we had to up to $800 and yesterday and today, just on this campus, we raised $200," Jessica Bermejo said.

Local non-profits could feel threatened about competition for donated dollars. Instead, Nacogdoches United Way is reaching out providing safe online links to United Way International.

"We have a lot of things to do here, but some folks have the spirit and ability to do something for Haiti that needs it so badly and we certainly encourage that," United Way Director Gary Lee Ashcraft said.

Some people are donating their talents. Nacogdoches orthopedic surgeon Dr Mike McLean and colleagues are in the Haiti area. They were uncertain if logistics would allow them to help.

Today the tired surgeon spoke to us from air during his return back to the United States.

"In about 48 hours we did about between 60 and 70 operations without the benefit of using an x ray machine at all. It was really primitive, wilderness medicine," McLean said in a telephone interview.

Generosity shown in so many ways. Something East Texans can do well.

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