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Grizzlies Aid Albany Tornado Victims

After a January tornado left severe damage in Albany, Georgia, GGC students quickly mobilized efforts to help the victims. The EF3 tornado was up to 1.25 miles wide and had an unusually long track of 70.1 miles, causing several deaths, dozens of injuries and damage to hundreds of homes.

Coordinated by the Office of Student Involvement, the student-led initiative collected emergency supplies such as water, non-perishable food and other critical items from generous members of the Grizzly community.

Erin Lucier, ’17, business, one of the project’s leaders and founding president of the Grizzly Leadership Academy, collaborated with Student Government Association officers at Albany State University on arrangements for a trip to the area, a 3.5-hour drive from GGC.

“A team of 15 students and a staff member’s husband volunteered their vehicles to deliver the supplies,” Lucier said. “We spent the next day clearing downed trees and other damage from around local homes.”

Energized by the experience, the students vowed to return. After collecting several more vehicles worth of supplies, 13 Grizzlies made a second trip in February. This time, they spent two days clearing damage, painting and making other repairs.

“This was the first-ever emergency relief effort by GGC students. It was impressive to see our students take the lead in organizing the project so quickly. They made the first trip less than a week after the tornado struck,” said Rontai Walker, associate director of Student Involvement and the Student Center.

Lucier said she and other Grizzlies felt a responsibility to help their fellow University System of Georgia (USG) students.

“We hope that if GGC and its community were struck by a natural disaster, other USG students would come to help us,” she said.

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