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GEORGIA COLLEGE & STATE UNIVERSITY

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GC unites after Theta Chi fire

 

A fire destroyed the Theta Chi house on Feb. 10, leaving the former residents homeless. In the days following the tragedy, the GC community went to extraordinary measures to take care of these young men. 

 

One story of selflessness came from The Bellamy, who offered free housing to the men who lived in the Theta Chi house.

 

“When we saw an opportunity to help, it was really a no brainer,” said regional manager and alumnus Phillip Joiner. “We pride ourselves on working closely with and for GC students.”

 

This attitude is reflective of the community at large. 

 

“I’ve now been around professionally for 15 years, so I wasn’t surprised to see this small community rally around them,” Joiner said. “We’re a big family.”

 

Thankfully, all of the house residents  walked away uninjured. 

 

Also, what was destroyed can be replaced thanks to a GoFundMe started by student Blake Cavender. 

 

The page went up mere hours after the fire with a goal of $1,000. Now, more than 1,000 people have donated to the campaign, easily surpassing the initial goal and raising $30,000. 

 

Blake was on the phone with one of his best friends, a member of Theta Chi, when he found out about the fire and wanted to do anything he could to help. 

 

“I wasn’t sure what to do to help, so I just did the first thing that came to my mind,” Blake said. “I knew they would need help, and if I could give it to them as soon as possible, that’s even better.”

 

Blake credited his urge to help to his upbringing. 

 

“I was raised by my family to do right by other people to the best of my ability, and that’s what I tried to do in this situation,” Blake said.

 

Currently, the largest donor to the GoFundMe is police officer Chris Powell. 

 

Powell was on the scene Sunday night redirecting traffic and ensuring onlookers kept a safe distance from the scene, but he was bothered by the fact that he couldn’t do more.

 

“I couldn’t put the fire out and save any of their things, so I felt like the GoFundMe was a way I could help,” Powell said.  “It was really heartbreaking seeing those guys lose everything, so I just wanted to help them recover from such a tragic event.”

Photo by Emily Bryant | Digital Media Editor

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