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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – A physician’s assistant student at the UNC School of Medicine has organized a collection drive to assist people in Louisiana, some of whom lost everything in a devastating flood that swept through the state in August.
Aylse Moses-Lebron was visiting her parents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, during a break from classes in mid-August. Her trip quickly turned from visiting with family and celebrating a successful first year of PA school to helping those in need and relying on her training at UNC.
The rain began on August 11, Moses-Lebron recalled.
"It poured, and it poured, and it poured," Moses-Lebron said. "I've never seen rain like that."
Over the weekend, the rain intensified and flooding began. Moses-Lebron's family subdivision was left untouched by flooding. By 7 a.m. the following Monday, Moses-Lebron heard a shelter would open nearby. She donned her UNC PA program T-shirt and headed to the shelter.
When Moses-Lebron arrived, those organizing volunteers realized her medical background would be immediately useful.
"That's when they grabbed me; there was nobody medical there," Moses-Lebron said. "I needed a plan, so I came up with one. Being in PA school gave me the ability to critically think through the situation," she said. "We didn't even have a first-aid kit."
Over the next several hours, Moses-Lebron coordinated medical care for those among the 250 people in the shelter who needed care. She grabbed a roll of tape and used it as an identifier to triage people who needed medical attention.
Throughout her experience volunteering in Louisiana and even after coming home to Chapel Hill, she realized how desperately people needed medical supplies, household goods and other common items.
So she turned to the internet and her classmates to collect the items that are still so desperately needed.
The PA studies department has launched a digital collection drive, which can be accessed here, on Amazon.com so that people all over the country can help fulfill a wish list that includes items like shovels, toilet paper and other necessities. The collection drive began October 6 and will continue through Oct. 14.
Click here to read the full story about Moses-Lebron volunteering in Louisiana.