Since creating the GoFundMe on Saturday morning, he has gone to his classes to talk about his efforts and shared it on social media. His goal is to raise $2,000. As of Sept. 28, he has raised $711.
He is also the Vice President of the Diversity and Psychology Club (DPC) and plans to start a donation drive within the next two weeks with the club.
“I know with fundraisers, they usually get a lot of pull in the beginning…That’s when you get the most donations and the most amount of spotlight, but after that, it fizzles out. But it won’t stop there,” Nkera said.
He said he is going to fundraise as long as he can.
Nkera will be sending the first round of donations to Puerto Rico through his friend at Purdue, who flies down to the island next week. He is attending a conference in November with a few of his friends he met at his internship, and he will bring along donations and supplies for them to bring back to Puerto Rico and distribute. Nkera himself will visit the island in December, and he will give donations directly to the victims.
“The devastation there is insane,” he said. “I don’t think people really understand because there hasn’t been a lot of media coverage with it, and the media coverage that has been happening doesn’t show the full extent of the picture of what’s happening.”
Leonor Ayala-Sanchez, a junior management major, said the situation is difficult and nerve-racking; though, she noted she has contact with most of her family.
“I have faith and confidence, but of course in the back of my mind I am always worrying,” she said.
She has been able to reach all except one member of her family through Facebook. Some people have been able to get service on their cell phones, but they are trying to save the battery. Word of mouth is one of the more popular forms of communication.
Ayala-Sanchez was born and raised in the United States and currently lives in Springfield, Mass., but most of her family lives in Aguas Buenas. The last time she visited Puerto Rico was during her freshman year of high school.
She thinks the University should offer counseling sessions or meetings for students affected, as well as have the campus become a local donation center. She listed off items such as cash, clothes, books, toothbrushes, toiletries and other various items, stating, “Anything is better than nothing.”