Celeste Lundy is a first year student in the Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program at Adler University’s Vancouver Campus. She chose the program because “it was the perfect combination of psychology and my personal interest in group dynamics in the business industry.” She also wants to be a change agent—a call that she has been trying to answer recently to help her fellow Bahamians impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian.
I am from the tiny island nation of The Bahamas. I have a strong interest in social justice and community service. Much of what is going on in the world affects each and every one of us—and we can all be agents of change. There is always work to be done in our communities.
Hearing about Hurricane Dorian saddened me greatly. I felt so helpless watching the category 5 hurricane pummel two of the islands for hours from another country thousands of miles away. My heart was heavy as news got worse that many homes and buildings were destroyed, Grand Bahama and Abaco were so flooded that most of the islands were under water, and the death toll climbed steadily.
The feeling of helplessness definitely motivated me to take action and be an agent of change—no matter how small. I reached out to Marina McNeil, my admissions advisor at the Vancouver campus and she connected me to Susanne Milner, our Manager of Student Services and Alumni Affairs here who began to help me plan immediately. This led to hosting two fundraising event on campus called “Coffee for a Cause: Hurricane Dorian Appeal,” on September 18 and 24, where people could donate for a cup of coffee.
The response from students, faculty, and staff was great. Immediately after hearing that there would be a Coffee for a Cause many people volunteered to help with the two-day fundraising events by baking or offering their time to assist in serving. Faculty supported by sharing the posters and purchasing items themselves.
Relief efforts are just the first steps to rebuilding the islands. The flooding from Hurricane Dorian not only washed away homes and businesses, it also washed away the livelihood of many. What remains a question now is what will happen to my fellow Bahamians’ mental health? Humanitarian aid helps to bring about relief on a national level.
Much help is still needed on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, if any one would like to donate. Every donation counts no matter how small.