Today, our student leaders are heading out to WalMart and Dollar Stores with over $3000 in hand. They are going to buy items to make approximately 250 care packages (hygiene kits and basic need items) for the refugees and victims of Hurricane Katrina.
I call them student leaders, even though many of them don't have a title or position of leadership on our campus. They simply stepped up to respond to a need. They are taking the time to be a positive influence in a difficult situation. They are encouraging others to get involved.
Some of our student leaders are:
- Organizing others to go and visit the elderly from Louisiana and Mississippi who have been moved into elderly care facilities close by us.
- In conversation with sister institutions about how we can assist their efforts of rebuilding.
- Planning trips to go down to the affected areas during school breaks and assist in any way they can.
- Educating other students about the degree of the devastation (sometimes students on a university campus can be unaware of what's going on for a number of reasons).
- Raising money and creating care packages to send to the victims.
- Gathering students together to pray for those affected by this situation.
Student leaders find their way to the front in the midst of difficult circumstances. One of the great lessons of the Hurricane Katrina disaster will be the vacuum of leadership that was evident in the days following the destruction. People were yelling, "Who's in charge?" Unfortunately, those that carried some level of authority kept pointing at others saying, "They are."
Leaders show up when the situations demand it. That's why I'm so proud of what our student leaders are doing. They may not have a plan or a fine-tuned system, but they're getting it done. I like what Poet Theodore Roethke says, "I learn by going where I have to go."
Great needs require great leadership. Is it time for you to stand up?
Additional Note: I just put a link up on my sidebar for people to go and donate to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts.