Students Help University Employee in Time of Need

University students have taken it upon themselves to help University dining hall employee, Corey Littles, when his apartment caught fire, rendering it uninhabitable. 

Austin Skelton, a freshman political science student, started the GoFundMe for Corey named, “Corey’s Fresh Start Fund.” Skelton shared the project with his compatriots on SGA who helped spread awareness across social media and campus. 

“Corey’s Fresh Start Fund” has currently raised a total of $1,080 out of a goal of $2,000.  

Skelton also described some of his experiences with Corey, “We were colleagues for a semester, and he really showed me how to be effective at my job. Corey is an overall kind, funny, down to earth guy,” said Skelton. “Nine out of 10 times when you see Corey in the dining hall, he’ll have a smile on his face despite working long strenuous hours. That’s the kind of person he is,” said Skelton. 

People from all parts of the Monmouth community, including parents and students, have donated to the GoFundMe, and have left several messages of encouragement for Corey during this difficult time, reflecting his value and positive attitude he brings to the community. 

Cassandra Figureoa, a public policy graduate student, expressed her sentiments towards Corey. “One of Monmouth’s deepest and strongest values is the ability for each member to give and receive support from their fellow Hawks. Because I believe Corey has given so much support to me and the University overall, donating to him wasn’t a second thought in my mind.” 

The fire in Corey’s apartment took place on February 5th at 2 am when he was awakened by smoke in his bedroom. He proceeded to the kitchen where he saw a grease fire on the stove. He tried smothering the fire with a blanket but it had no effect. According to Corey, there were no fire extinguishers in the building. 

Corey told his sister and girlfriend about the fire, and they went to safety. Corey then carried his twin four-year-old nieces out of the apartment. After calling the police, he went back inside to inform other residents about the fire. His next-door neighbors were the first ones notified, and they helped him to inform the rest of his building. 

Everyone was safely outside the building before the fire alarms went off. The damage was mostly done to Corey’s apartment and the apartment below him. In Corey’s apartment, only the two bedrooms were left undamaged, with some ceiling damage in the apartment directly below. 

Corey lost everything in the fire, even things in the rooms that were not damaged. He mentioned that the heat from the fire was so great, it melted his clothes. 

Since the fire occurred, Corey has been trying to maintain a positive attitude. “I’ve been working. I haven’t had time to figure out a plan. I’ve just been taking it day by day.” 

Corey said his positive outlook has definitely helped him get through these tough past few weeks. “Because I’m alive, I’m grateful to be here,” he said. 

Though he’s remained strong, he has obviously not had to go through it alone. Another effort was headed by Kevin Summonte of the Men’s Track Team. Summonte and some of his teammates pooled their resources together, and were able to give Corey some food, clothes, and a $100 Visa gift card to help with expenses. 

Summonte, a sophomore health and physical education student, explained his motivation, “Corey, despite his struggle with his apartment issue and the fire, has continued to keep a positive attitude, keep the students happy and smiling. Corey has been a great guy in the dining hall. He supports the track team and we support him, and are very grateful for all he does,” said Summonte. He also related a story about how Corey went out of his way to warm up chocolate-chip cookies and serve them to the track team. 

Other students have given also donated clothes to Corey. Littles expressed his gratitude for all the students have done for him. “I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate it. I’m really grateful. Grateful for working for the students, and the environment I’m working in,” said Littles.