Alumni Community Unites to Help Fire Victims
About 75 residents, including 25 UCF students, were displaced by a fire on Sunday, July 12, at the Tivoli Apartments off McCulloch Road in Oviedo. (Photo: Johnathan Kuntz, Central Florida Future)
When Ken Brown, ’02, got an email last Tuesday inviting donations for the approximately 25 UCF students displaced by an apartment fire two days before, he had some of the help they needed literally at his feet.
Managing director of the Orlando-based IT staffing company Tekk Fusion, Brown keeps a stack of laptops under his desk that employees can use while traveling or working from home.
“I looked at them and thought, ‘Those kids need these more than we do right now,'” he said.
So, he loaded up all 14 laptops, along with bags of food, clothes and other essentials, and headed to campus, where he donated everything to the Knights Helping Knights Pantry, the organization designated to receive and distribute donations to help victims of the fire.
And, Brown wasn’t alone — not by a long shot. Hundreds of other UCF alumni and friends came together to give more than $20,000 in cash and truckloads of food and necessities to victims of the fire via the Knights Pantry.
In fact, pantry manager Jessica Roberts says that as of July 23, the pantry has received 150 pounds of food, 25-30 bags of clothing, multiple small appliances and furniture items, hundreds of toiletry items, school supplies, and $700 in gift cards.
“When the Tivoli fire victims come to the pantry, they are given unrestricted access to toiletries, produce, clothing and the food donated specifically for them, in addition to 10 food items from our other inventory (instead of the traditional five items),” Roberts says.
The Knights Helping Knights Pantry is still collecting items for the displaced Tivoli students, and can always use donations throughout the year to help all Knights in need. Visit their website below for more details.