By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
Ashford University students are gathering replacement items for those who lost everything in a tornado striking Washington, Ill.
Ashford Manager of Service Learning Audra Adams said that shortly after hearing about the tornadoes, students began making plans to help. She said the university has a lot of students on the campus with a desire to help in the community, participating in service programs and service trips.
“Once they saw about these devastating tornadoes on Sunday, wanted to do a service trip,” Adams said.
For Ashford student Branden Lambiase, the tornado literally hit close to home. Originally from the Washington area, his parents’ house is approximately five minutes from where the tornado hit.
Lambaise said his family escaped with nothing more than losing their power. However, quite a few members from his church congregation lost their houses.
“I feel called to do something,” Lambaise said. “It is my community that is affected.”
More than 20 students will collect items in a U-haul at the Ashford parking lot today and Thursday. The collection will run between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. People are asked to donate jackets and winter clothing, toiletries, plastic totes, blankets, towels, diapers, baby wipes, socks, underwear, toys and other items.
“A lot of people they literally lost everything,” Lambaise said.
On Friday, 12 students will take the items to the Washington area. This will be the first of two service trips to the area.
“I just think they have great hearts and they want to do whatever they can to give back,” Adams said.