Answering Pepperdine’s call to help

Victims of the Woolsey fire, including Pepperdine University students, return home, still needing support from surrounding communities.


Photo Courtesy of Randy Kim/ PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY

Angela Hom, Freelance Writer

Since the Woolsey Fire has been 100 percent contained as of Nov. 21, many residents and students returned to their homes for the holidays, unsure if those homes were still standing. During the fire, Pepperdine University was told to evacuate as the fire began to surround the school. The urgency of the fire made many students worried, and not just at Pepperdine.

“Of course, at first, I was worried cause I have friends and people I know from Pepperdine,” said Michelle Kim, sophomore business administration major. “I heard that the fire was spreading fast and there are also residential areas around the campus, so I was just worried for the people there as well.”

As a result of this evacuation alert, Pepperdine decided to cancel classes until after Nov. 26, their Thanksgiving break.

Housing for the Homeless

The evacuation left many students without homes or shelters to turn to. As the news of this predicament reached other campuses, some students decided to take initiative in aiding Pepperdine brothers and sisters. Kim’s church in Brea, Living Hope Community Church, sought to support Pepperdine students in need.

“They were in need of sleeping bags for students because they weren’t able to bring all their stuff, or they don’t have a lot of things,” she said. “I just asked Biola’s Koinonia Campus Ministry members because that’s the biggest group of people that I knew and that I had access to. I asked them if anyone would be willing to offer their sleeping bags for the weekend for the students who will be sleeping at our church.”

As Pepperdine students recover from the fires and return to their busy schedules, Kim says Biola can continue aiding students’ transitions.

“Just support with prayer or even finding ways through social media or encouragement that maybe Biola could do as a Christian school or even just a university because we are also college students and we can understand having to be in the midst of midterms and stressing over that,” Kim said. “Just knowing that there are people out there who are praying for them or having them on their minds or hearts, I think that’s encouraging.”

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