UCA will be sending supplies to McNeese State after Hurricane Laura hit the school earlier this month. 

Hurricane Laura left a trail of destruction in Louisiana and Texas that led to a death toll of 15. UCA Athletic Director Brad Teague and the UCA Athletic Department saw many statistics such as this one and knew someone needed to help according to UCA’s Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Matt Whiting. 

Throughout the week of Sept.7, the department contributed to the Hurricane Laura relief efforts by using the Bear Nation trailer to collect donations for McNeese State. 

The trailer was outside Estes Stadium for most of the week and then was moved to the Bill Stephens Track and Soccer Complex on Sept. 10 during the Women’s soccer match against Little Rock. 

Immediately after Hurricane Laura made landfall in Lake Charles, Teague reached out to the athletic staff at McNeese State to get an assessment of the damage.

Staff at McNeese State sent over the list of items they were seeking, (eg. water, clothes, pet food, first aid kits, and bug spray). 

On Sept.11 until 5:00 p.m., the trailer was propped open to fans to give to this charity. Athletes stayed behind to help unload cars and spread the word. 

Sam’s Club, a UCA donor, contributed to the drive by giving two pallets of bottled water. Currently, the athletic department is working out a plan to deliver these items to Lake Charles the week of Sept. 13.  

Whiting made this all possible. 

Whiting worked all day on Sept. 11 to put the effort together and communicated with multiple sources to get the information out to the public. 

Even though UCA and McNeese are rivals in the Southland Conference it doesn’t stop UCA from lending a hand to help.  

“We are all friends within the league,” Whiting said. “Just hate to see the impact that [Hurricane Laura] is having there, but we know they are a strong resilient bunch and know that they will overcome this." 

Due to the large winds from Hurricane Laura, the damage in Louisiana is estimated to be between 8 billion to 12 billion dollars.

According to the BBC News the storm made contact with over 600,000 homes and 400,000 of those homes are without power, while the other 200,000  is without the means of power and water. 

McNeese State experienced multiple outages, and currently have flooding on their football, baseball, and track fields.

“At this moment, we have concurrently begun debris removal, building damage assessment and the remediation and restoration work of our academic buildings and resident halls.” Daryl Burckel, McNeese State’s President, said in an announcement to students,

Whiting went onto say how proud he is of the team effort that went into putting this together in only a week's worth of time. 

There is still time to give. For more information concerning the damage on McNeese State and in Louisiana visit mcneesefoundation.org/give/campus-emergency-fund

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