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Flagler College community offers helping hand to those impacted by Hurricane Matthew

Dec 1, 2016

Flagler College students — armed with rakes, shovels, water bottles and brooms — embarked on an unexpected mission for their fall semester: helping their St. Augustine neighbors with disaster relief.

Hurricane Matthew, a category 3 storm, hit the coastal town on Oct. 7, flooding homes, ripping apart rooftops, uprooting trees and disabling power to more than 50,000 homes. The seaside town was transformed from a tourist destination into a disaster zone, which included flooding and some minor damage on the Flagler campus.

By the time the waters receded the following day, the community, including Flagler students, were out in area neighborhoods, offering a helping hand to those in need.

Volleyball coach Matt Affolder and the volleyball team helped clean-up Anastasia Island neighborhoods, including the home of student Chelsea Glenn, whose yard was covered in debris and fallen branches. Her mother lives in North Carolina and praised the team’s efforts.

“What a beautiful deed!” Julie Glenn said. “This shows such a heart of service and our whole family is so appreciative.”

The recently formed club Flagler College Volunteers solicited help from the community on social media and responded to calls for help by dropping off toiletries, food and water to victims in need and organizing clean-up efforts.

Club President Paige Armstrong mobilized other student volunteers to clean-up wherever help was needed.

“We’ve got a bit of backup and overflow of requests than we’ve been able to provide volunteer wise, but we are doing our best and will continue these efforts in the coming weeks,” she said.

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