Nov. 11, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University and World Vision have joined forces, along with the assistance of Cougar great Jack Thompson, to meet the ongoing needs of American Samoa residents following the devastating tsunami that struck the region two months ago.
Prior to Saturday's home football game against UCLA, WSU students, World Vision and Thompson will be outside Martin Stadium on the WSU campus urging fans to "Fill the Helmet" to help traumatized children and families receive much-needed supplies. Donations will be accepted beginning three hours before the game up through kickoff.
"Being a Pacific Islander, this is a cause that hits very close to home for my family and me," said Thompson. "I'm grateful for the partnership with World Vision and Washington State University and we are asking for members of the Cougar family to aide those affected by this tragic event.
"It has been weeks since the tragedy yet the need is still huge," Thompson continued. "World Vision not only focuses on the immediate need of victims, but its impact will be felt long term as it will aid in recovery and rebuilding."
Jordan Pritchard, a WSU junior majoring in the Business Entrepreneur Program, is organizing student volunteers to assist with the "Fill the Helmet" project. Pritchard, who has family in Leone, American Samoa that were directly impacted by the tsunami, is recruiting 50-60 WSU student volunteers, the core group coming from the Pacific Islanders Club, to assist with relief efforts.
"What is really driving this effort for me is the fact than many families who once lived in nice houses are now living in tents," said Pritchard. "We have been taught since we were little that if someone needs help, we need to be there for them."
In addition to donations made at the game, fans unable to attend can also contribute to American Samoa Tsunami Relief by visiting www.worldvision.org/respond.