By Aaliyah Wilkerson
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey spiraled through Houston, Texas causing devastating flooding and a death toll of more than 70. While some students at Florida A&M University (FAMU) watched the demolition of Houston on the news, Texas native and FAMU graduate student Chelsea Brown decided to take initiative.
“I just felt trapped, because I wasn’t there … I couldn’t do anything to help my family and the community,” explained Brown.
After finding out about the conditions of her hometown, Brown decided to start a donation drive that allowed people in Tallahassee to give to the survivors of Harvey. Brown does not want to limit her efforts to Texas, but other countries and states that have been affected by hurricane devastation as well.
“It’s just something that I knew I had to do. My dad always taught me to give back to my community, no matter where I am and that’s what I’ve been doing. I have already been speaking with someone about assisting me with transporting materials to Haiti and the Dominican Republic,” said Brown.
Though facing plenty of obstacles herself, such as the passing of her grandmother and a lack of funds that could have slowed her degree completion, Brown has not allowed them to discourage her from making a difference in her community, even if she is miles away.
“I want to send big boxes,” she said.
Brown is in the process of looking for sponsors to help with the shipping of canned-goods. According to Brown, this is not the end of her philanthropy efforts, but this is the beginning of a new wave designed to encourage millennials to give back.
“I believe that our generation needs to learn how to give back. It’s not about being selfish, it is about being selfless,” said Brown. “So, I hope I can help, by setting that standard.”
Brown shows that FAMU’s tradition of love and charity is not limited to its students, faculty, staff, and alumni, but is also spreading around the world.