OSU Student Pounds The Pavement To Help Quake, Tsunami Victims

Saturday, April 16th 2011, 8:45 pm
By: News 9

Jacqueline Sit, News 9

STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- An Oklahoma State University student has laced up her running shoes to raise money for disaster relief in Japan.

Leah Smith is running 32.5 miles to help those affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Smith says after the disaster, she could not stop thinking about what the survivors were experiencing.

"I just picture a lot of people walking around confused, like, where's my family and what's going on."

Smith says the disaster has also had a devastating impact on a friend.

"I have a friend back at home. Her mother and grandmother are nowhere to be found," Smith said.

Smith's trek started in Stillwater and will end at the Guthrie Police Department. A friend is bicycling beside her the entire trip. When the run is finished, Smith will drive back to Stillwater and collect donations on campus. All the money raised will go to the Red Cross Japan Relief Effort.

Smith says the run can be painful, but she's not letting the discomfort stop her.

"This is crazy in a way, but the physical pain I go through… is not equal to the emotional and mental strain I would have knowing that I would have lost my mother or grandmother or someone so close to me. And in all honesty, this is the least I can do."