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Students From Edith Bowen and USU Give Aid to the Phillipines

Thursday, Dec. 05, 2013

Students From Edith Bowen and USU Give Aid to the Phillipines

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

Students From Edith Bowen and USU Give Aid to the Phillipines

By Mariah Noble, Utah Statesman, Monday, November 25, 2013

The typhoon in the Philippines last week left thousands dead and survivors in need of food, shelter and supplies, according to news sites.

Among the survivors are USU’s own Lyssa Bevan, Morgan Parrish and McCall Eldredge. The three were in the Philippines as student teachers at a university when the disaster hit. Stacie Cannon, Bevan’s sister and former Aggie, said she didn’t sleep the night the storm was scheduled to hit.

“She’d been in a typhoon before when she served an LDS mission in the Philippines, but it wasn’t near this big,” Cannon said. “When she called the next day I was just so relieved, so glad that she was okay.”

Cannon said Bevan and her companions have been trying to help in the rescue effort ever since by asking for donations to buy and deliver supplies.

One such request motivated six fifth-graders from the Edith Bowen Laboratory School to hold a bake sale on USU’s campus. Noelani Hadfield, one of the fifth-grade students and organizers of the event, said Bevan is their neighbor and goes to their church.

“I just think it would be terrible to not have a home and be living on the streets and not having supplies or anything,” Hadfield said.

She said this year the theme they have at school is “Kids are heroes.” She said she feels like this project, along with others her schoolmates have put on, help them to fill that role.

“Lots of people can be a part of this,” Hadfield said. “They can be heroes.”

Hadfield said regardless of how much money they made at the bake sale, it would be a success because every dollar goes a long way. She and Cannon said a dollar in the Philippines could buy a haircut and fish or rice to feed a family.

Hadfield’s mother, Tracy, said about 25 people donated goods to be sold at the bake sale. They raised more than $271 to be donated to the relief effort.

Candice Bahm, Bevan’s former roommate and a grad student in social work, said the experience has helped her see that there are ways she can make a difference without physically being in the natural disaster, whether it’s through monetary donations, donating blood or donating time to help those around her.

“The best ways for people to donate are probably through the Red Cross or through any denomination of church,” Cannon said.

Cannon said she has also been taking donations and putting money into Bevan’s international account, which Bevan then withdraws to purchase supplies.

“My sister really is an incredible person,” Cannon said. “She has the biggest heart in the whole, wide world, and I think being there has made her even more compassionate.”

Cannon said her sister, Parrish and Eldredge don’t want the spotlight on them but want to include as many people as possible in the rescue effort.

Bahm and Cannon said Bevan has been able to buy 198 liters of water, 100 kilograms of rice, powdered milk for infants, canned food, biscuits, rubbing alcohol, cotton, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and shoes using the donation money.

Bahm said this experience has also made her think about the relationship she has with her roommates.

“Being a roommate of someone who was in a natural disaster made me appreciate the relationship I have with her,” Bahm said. “I’m glad that she’s okay. Sometimes we take for granted the people who are in our lives. It’s important to know what is going on in our roommates’ lives because they’re kind of like your family. Sometimes you might not get along, but know where they’re at. Get to know each other and find ways to love and serve each other.”

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