August 1, 2011
Omaha, Neb. - The University of Omaha Nebraska MaverickPR PRSSA Chapter recently volunteered to fill sandbags to assist city efforts in the on-going Missouri River flooding.
Volunteers for sandbagging are constantly needed as flood waters continue to rise. A team from the Chapter joined more than 75 volunteers on June 25, traveling throughout the region to help out others in need.
The task of sandbagging involves shoveling sand, tying bags and carrying bags to trucks. Each sandbag weighs up to 40 pounds or more. It takes at least 50 to 100 volunteers in each shift to fill the sandbags. Volunteers say it is hard labor, but worth it to help the victims.
"I have a good friend who recently lost her house because of this flood, so I felt like this was my way of giving back to people who are in the same position as her. I'd rather sweat and have backaches the whole weekend from sandbagging, instead of losing my home. I just happen to be fortunate that this wasn't me," said Summer Broderick, MaverickPR service director, who organized the effort. "The flood has taken down businesses and homes while destroying communities close to us. It was important to us that MaverickPR was a part of this volunteer event to save our community and the communities around us."
At least 1,700 people have volunteered by spending 5,300 hours to fill 200,000 sandbags, according to the City of Omaha.
"We worked as a group so we got to know each other by the end of our shift," said Makiko Hultz, MaverickPR creative director and volunteer. "People made sure no one was exhausted or dehydrated. I was moved by their kindness."
Community service is a vital part of being a member of MaverickPR. Plans are underway to assist the Salvation Army with its Kids Cruising Kitchen later this summer.
"There are always volunteer activities to sign up for in Omaha,” Hultz said. “After volunteering for sandbagging, I wanted to pass on the spirit of volunteering to others.”
MaverickPR, the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), offers students a wide range of opportunities for professional development and community engagement. In 2009, PRSSA awarded the UNO Chapter with its highest honor, the F.H. Teahan National Chapter Award for Outstanding Chapter. In 2011, the Chapter earned campus recognition as the Outstanding Student Organization.
Assistant Public Relations Director