CORVALLIS, Ore. (KMTR) - An Oregon State University fraternity is stepping up trying to lend a helping hand to a town that is 2,406 miles across the country.
Henryville, Indiana was one of the towns hit hardest in last week's tornado outbreak. It was almost completely wiped off the map. Dozens of people died in the storm.
Acacia Fraternity located near campus on Northwest VanBuren Street saw the storm's aftermath on the news and decided that during spring break, they would pitch in and spend their free time helping with recovery.
Acacia's headquarters, located in Indiana, told the men in Corvallis that people there need anything and everything and that any donations or help would be welcomed. In about two weeks, at least a dozen of the fraternity members will pack up as many U-Hauls as possible and drive to Henryville, give out the donations and help clean up.
Joel Zeni is the coordinator for the philanthropy and told NewsSource 16 this is the largest philanthropy they've ever done.
"When you do a philanthropy you never really know who you're helping. There is a lot of times you do it for organizations that are really large and it just goes into their pool and this is for us to actually give it to somebody and we get to actually experience it first-hand who this is and I think it comes at a time we can really help someone," Zeni said.
Zeni said driving to Henryville is a good opportunity for the college men to do such outreach that they'll likely never be able to do again.
Acacia plans on working with chapters across campus and across the country to get more people to help. They have already collected a couple dozen chairs, a microwave and other items but they said they are looking for much more.
"If I get just one more donation out of this, it was worth it," Zeni said about talking to NewsSource 16.
Donations are currently being accepted at the Acacia house in Corvallis. They are also hoping to take financial aid. Zeni said they are willing to pick up donations too anywhere in the area.
The people of Henryville need everyday items like chairs, pots and pans and more. Questions should be sent to Joel by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.