For the past three years, Nichole Kiely and her family friends have been sailing to the Bahamas for family vacations. After growing relationships with the Bahamian people, Kiely was devastated when she heard about the damage Hurricane Dorian had caused on the island. Her friends began sending her photos of the destruction, and Kiely realized she had to do something to help.
“When I saw the news coverage of devastation in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, all I could think about were the people we had formed such close relationships with,” Kiely said. “Many of the Bahamians aren’t as fortunate as we are, and I knew that recovery was going to be a long uphill battle for them. I wanted to do whatever I could to help, and this donation drive was just that.”
After some thought, Kiely settled on a donation drive for the Bahamas. Wanting to make an impact, Kiely looked to her sorority, Delta Gamma, and fellow sorority Zeta Tau Alpha to push her community-wide donation effort. Kiely created a supply list and kicked off the drive once classes resumed at UNF.
“The response from the Greek & UNF community was incredible, and made it even more successful,” Kiely said. The UNF and Jacksonville community donated tons of supplies to the drive including 110 cases of water. Local schools even pitched in to give Kiely donations. The two-week drive was a huge success, collecting five and a half truckloads of supplies.
The Bahamas drive isn’t Kiely’s only effort in the community. She already has 20 hours of community service this semester through her sorority’s philanthropy. Kiely is living proof that one person can truly make a difference.Do you know an Osprey Hero? Nominate a hero today!