Shaken by recent natural disasters in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States, SUNY ESF students had one question on their minds: “What can we do to help?”
And so, “Acorns to Action” was born.
“Our primary goal is to provide the needed resources and knowledge to the impacted regions so they may rebuild their communities in a sustainable way,” said Isabella Kaplan, a senior environmental studies major who helps lead the project.
Since the end of September, Acorns for Action has raised $700 in disaster relief through fundraisers, cultural events and collection drives. The students also hosted informational sessions to increase awareness of the need for disaster relief, and discuss the possibility of increased academic involvement and research in communities impacted by disaster.
Acorns to Action has partnered with relief and aid organizations from affected areas and Syracuse-area groups to increase the impact of their efforts. Students helped local churches load trucks with relief supplies and collected donations before the Syracuse University-Wake Forest football game.
“Rather than sending water and food to these countries, we provide the resources they request and the tools/knowledge required to rebuild their country in a sustainable and socially just way,” said Kaplan.
Acorns to Action takes its name from Oakie the Acorn, the beloved mascot of ESF’s athletic teams, the Mighty Oaks.