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Flagler community unites to help victims of destructive hurricanes

Oct 2, 2017

Before Hurricane Maria struck his home country of Dominica, Flagler student Nickel Cuffy tried to contact his family members, to warn them of the powerful storm charging toward the island nation. But efforts, he said, “were futile.”

“Everything happened so quickly,” he said. “I could not reach them.”

The category 5 storm, with winds reaching 160 miles per hour, devastated the Caribbean country, claiming lives, damaging structures throughout and severing all communications. Cuffy had no idea if his family was safe, until he received a WhatsApp text five days after the storm from his father.

His initial fears subsided, but left in its place was the impulse to help. Since last week, the Flagler Accounting junior has been doing what he can to rally support from the United States. And the Flagler community has united around his country’s needs too.

To start, the Office of College Relations helped Cuffy by gathering lists of resources from the Dominica Embassy in Washington, D.C.

“Laura Stevenson and Ms. DeLorenzo were amazing at helping me gather more information,” he said. “They lent great support.”

The Flagler student, a member of the college’s Chamber Choir, was elated when he learned that the group agreed to produce a video featuring the choir singing the African song “Indodana,” a dramatic, uplifting song that will serve as the backdrop for a call-to-action from Cuffy.

“In the video I will be asking people to donate canned good to help those affected by Hurricane Maria,” he said.

In addition, his Marketing class, led by Assistant Professor Dr. Cindy Rippé, has decided to launch a marketing project by promoting a canned food statue competition and a canned food drive on Friday, Nov. 3. All donated cans will be sent to Dominica to benefit storm victims. To sign-up, visit here. For more information, contact Rippé at

Campus Compassion

There are many other efforts underway to help individuals affected by the recent hurricanes. Stay tuned to this page and weekly News@Flagler digests as the good deeds roll in.

Kappa Delta Pi

The International Education Honor Society has raised $184 to send canned food items and other supplies to Dominica. It is also collecting school supplies to distribute to local elementary schools impacted by Hurricane Irma. People can drop-off school supplies in the purple boxes located in the Proctor Library, Kenan Hall and the Ringhaver Student Center by Friday, Oct. 6.
Contact: Yasmeen Anis,

Department of Theatre Arts

The department will be hosting a Christmas toy drive for students impacted by Hurricane Irma, and ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) has plans to sponsor a supply drive for teachers and classrooms of the arts. More information will be posted soon. Contact: Prof. Kip Taisey at

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