Community unites to meet needs of fellow Warhawk

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Community unites to meet needs of fellow Warhawk

Olivia Barfield

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Almost three months have passed since Carissa Sawyer’s wreck, but her Warhawk family has yet to stop supporting her.

Sawyer, a freshman pre-dental hygiene major from Sterlington, was paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident on Sept. 6.

While she was in ICU, her story inspired several fundraisers with one aim: help Carissa and her family.

Sawyer had accepted her bid into Alpha Omicron Pi women’s fraternity just before her accident, and her new sisters were some of the first to rally for her cause.

After receiving news that Sawyer would require several surgeries, they set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her medical costs.

Carissa Sawyer and her parents smile during a holiday photo session.

Carissa Sawyer and her parents smile during a holiday photo session.

They also  set up two fundraiser nights at local restaurants who donated parts of their sales to Sawyer.

Overall, the chapter raised $4,424.92 for Sawyer with the help of the local community.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our sister back on campus this spring and want to thank everyone who helped make this possible,” said Shelby Nicholson, Communications Chair for Alpha Omicron Pi.

Kappa Alpha Fraternity also showed their support for Sawyer by holding a car wash that raised $1,200.

Most recently, the BCM held a jambalaya lunch fundraiser for her.

Cody Crnkovic, a sophomore biology major, heard about Sawyer through the other fundraisers that were held for her and presented the initial idea of a luncheon to the BCM.

“It was about a month later I realized that that money that they raised, even though it was a good amount, they still need a lot more for all the things that Carissa needs,” Crnkovic said.

Sawyer said she is blown away by the support she’s received.

“I’ve been so blessed to receive the support I’ve had from ULM organizations. I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me, whether it’s raising money or praying for me,“ Sawyer said.

Sawyer’s mother, Christine Braddy, said that all the support has helped Carissa get back to her life.

“Carissa is very motivated to go back to school. She’s gone back to work… she’s trying to normalize her life to get back in the swing of things. She loves people in the community talking to her, it just lifts her up.” Braddy said.

The community’s support has been great for Sawyer, but it’s been uplifting for other students as well.

Sabrina Wegner, a first year doctoral student in marriage and family therapy, is proud of everyone’s fight for this common cause.

“I’m sure that a lot of them are good friends with Carissa, and some of them probably don’t know her either, but that doesn’t matter because it’s the community coming together,” Wegner said.