Members of both the UM and Coral Gables communities joined together, donating money, supplies and blood for hurricane relief just outside the Convocation Center Tuesday.
Sponsored by Y100.7 radio station, the event ran from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., with live broadcasts by Adam Bomb and Melly Mel, the Florida Blood Drive bus and a tent of volunteers collecting supplies to be loaded into a tractor trailer headed for New Orleans.
Though not centrally located on the campus, many UM students dropped by to give blood or donate money. However, the majority of those who got involved were not students, but rather UM staff and community members in the Coral Gables area.
“I saw signs for it but I didn’t know what was going on,” Kinsey Yee, senior said, referring to the blue Y100 signs that were located along U.S. 1 and the entrance to the Convocation Center.
Bao Tram, freshman, commented on knowing little about the event. Had she been aware, she said, she would have definitely helped out, as she said she grieves for close friends who lost everything in New Orleans at the hands of Katrina.
But with or without overwhelming support from UM students, the event proved to be a success.
Enthusiastic radio deejay Adam Bomb estimated raking in more than $2,000 by mid-afternoon, and at the end of the night, the total jumped to $8,000. “We also filled an entire tractor trailer, plus two locker rooms in the Center with supplies,” he said.
The loaded tractor trailer took off for New Orleans early Wednesday morning, with another on the way to carry the leftovers being stored in the locker rooms.
“I’ve been loading boxes filled with everything from baby food, to blankets, to bottled water all day,” said MG, an intern deejay for Y100.7, who goes by her artistic name.
Deejay Melly Mel recalled a few interesting incidents of the day: the most heart-wrenching, a young girl who cheerfully said goodbye to a brand-new scooter that she received as a birthday gift. A mother and daughter selling avocados added their income for the day to the barrel of checks, bills and change. But both deejays agreed that the most inspiring and entirely unorthodox incident was the man who literally stripped off his clothes, donating everything but his boxers.
Taylor Pashley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.