Georgia's technical college system has begun a week-long drive to collect bottled water for the Mississippi and Louisiana areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The drive begins September 14 and ends on September 21.
DTAE and the 34 technical colleges have already collected and donated cash, including the students at North Metro Technical College in Acworth who gave $10,000 to the Red Cross, money that was to have paid for their fall student festival. Throughout the state, tons of relief goods have been collected by the colleges and several have held job fairs in conjunction with the Department of Labor. And some colleges, such as Coosa Valley in Rome and South Georgia in Americus, are hosting displaced families who are now living in campus housing.
College expertise has also been given to the cause, including the instructors and students in the Opticianry program at DeKalb Tech who helped sheltered evacuees find replacement glasses, and the Athens Tech veterinary staff and students who loaded donated pet supplies in their cars and traveled to assist with sick and lost pets saved from the waters of New Orleans.
DTAE is also waiving all out-of-state fees for evacuees who desire to enter any state technical college.
"Our colleges and central office staff have all contributed immensely to help our Gulf Coast neighbors in one way or another, but we know even more is needed," said DTAE Commissioner Mike Vollmer. "A bottled water drive gives our faculty, students, the college communities and our DTAE staff another way to help with the disaster relief."
Since the bottled water must be loaded and transported, it's recommended that the minimum donation amount be a six-pack, with plastic-wrapped cases being the preferred size.
The technical colleges with commercial truck driving programs will use their instructors, students and tractor-trailers to transport the contributions from the 34 colleges to three staging areas: West Central Technical College in Waco, Sandersville Technical College in Sandersville, and
Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross. Convoys of technical college semis will then move the water to designated locations in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Pictured are Lori Harnist, Executive Assistant to the President, and Dr. Eddy Dixon, Vice President of Student Services, with some of the water donated by Central Georgia Technical College.