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College of Social Work

Help Support Hurricane Florence Victims in South Carolina

Sept. 24, 2018
By Chris Woodley,

The devastation of Hurricane Florence continues to affect the Carolinas. Even though it has been more than a week since the storm made landfall, floodwaters continue to rise and cause significant damage to the Pee Dee region of northeastern South Carolina.

Led by Master of Social Work students and Rural Interprofessional Behavioral Health Scholars Madeline Cook, Samantha McKenzie and Tierney Rhone, the University of South Carolina College of Social Work is organizing a drive to collect and provide essential supplies to hurricane victims in Dillon, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties in South Carolina. The Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Fund will collect donated items from Tuesday, Sept. 25 to Saturday, Sept. 29.

“To me, this effort says that the students are the heart of the school,” said Dean Sarah Gehlert. “We are not a top down organization. We learn from our students and they learn from us.”

The following items may be dropped off at the College of Social Work, Hamilton College Pendleton Wing, 1512 Pendleton St. each day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • New or washed clothing (all ages and sizes)
  • New socks and shoes (all ages)
  • Household items including:
    • Toothbrushes
    • Toothpaste
    • Deodorant
    • Travel size (bagged) toiletries
    • Towels
    • Blankets
    • Flushable wipes
    • Child and adult diapers
    • Women’s hygiene products
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Can openers
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Protein drinks: Boost, Ensure
  • Backpacks
  • Box fans
  • Non-perishable food items including:
    • Protein and granola bars
    • Canned meats and goods (pull tab)
    • Peanut butter
    • Jars of baby food
    • Cup of noodles
    • Dog and cat food

“Helping organize this drive is most gratifying to me because I am supporting the individuals and families affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in my hometown of Conway, S.C. and other surrounding counties,” said MSW student Madeline Cook. “It is very devastating knowing my hometown is being destroyed by a natural disaster but having the power to enhance the lives of others during this time is a privilege I must act upon.”

For more information, visit, which will provide any updates and changes to the schedule and items needed. The South Carolina National Guard will pick up all donations on Monday, Oct. 1 for the impacted communities. For more information, contact Melissa Reitmeier, Director of Field Education, at

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