Oct. 5, 2005
Two Gulf Coast community colleges will be back in the education business a bit faster, thanks to a warehouse of furniture donated by HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College.

In yet another effort to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina, HACC is providing assistance to the hard-hit Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Pearl River Community College, both with multiple campus locations in Mississippi.

"The HACC family has rolled up its sleeves in many ways to help the thousands of people in the gulf region so that they can begin to rebuild their lives," said HACC President Dr. Edna V. Baehre.

HACC had intended to sell the warehoused desks, chairs, filing cabinets and other furniture locally and/or make it available to community organizations.

"We determined we could make a greater impact by donating the furniture to our sisters in community college education. They may be able to use this furniture until insurance checks and federal or state monies come in for permanent re-building," said Baehre, who personally contacted the schools to determine the best way HACC could help.

According to William Lewis, president of Pearl River Community College, it will take at least $65 million to rebuild the college's main campus, in addition to the toll the hurricane had on the students and employees who lost all belongings, books, computers, houses, and in some cases, relatives.

HACC's facility maintenance staff took an inventory and photos of items so that college officials in Mississippi could see what was available. Two truck driving instructors, one from each Mississippi college, made the trek north from Pearl River Community College to Harrisburg where the office and classroom furniture was loaded. Both Pearl River and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will split the shipment.

HACC already has offered students displaced by the hurricane free tuition at any of its four campuses or the new center in York, as well as online classes through its Virtual Campus.

The college has allowed paid leave for staff who are members of a volunteer organization such as Red Cross, fire department, ambulance, etc., who volunteer their time with the organization helping victims in the region.

Other activities on HACC campuses have included collection of canned food and manual can openers that continues until the end of the month, water, diapers and baby products, and paper products; and fundraising activities including an upcoming Hurricane Hoops 3v3 basketball tournament October 22 at the Harrisburg Campus and a Creole-style charity dinner on the Harrisburg Campus prepared by HACC culinary students last week.

Please click the links below to share the latest #HACCnews on YOUR social media sites.