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University of Idaho alum raises more than $18,000 to buy students personal alarms

Kerry Uhlorn said she hopes the alarms help young women on campus feel a bit safer during this uncertain time.

MOSCOW, Idaho — One University of Idaho alum rallied Vandals and non-Vandals to ensure young women can defend themselves after the murders of four students on Nov. 13.

With no suspect or person of interest, many students feel unsafe in Moscow. University of Idaho alum Kerry Uhlorn hopes giving out Birdie personal safety alarms will provide some sense of comfort.

"It's so scary, and I'm not even up there," she said. "I can't imagine what it's like for the people that are living there." 

The project initially started out small. Uhlorn said she planned on providing alarms just to the women in sororities. But the funds kept coming in, and now, she has raised more than $18,000. 

Uhlorn created a page on Facebook called "Do Good - University of Idaho" to manage the project. The page has close to 2,000 followers. 

So far, she's ordered 737 Birdie alarms for the 10 sororities. Uhlorn said she plans to purchase another 900 in the coming days for women living in the dorms. 

"I think it's really just made people feel like they're doing something," she said. "A lot of people felt really helpless, didn't know what they could do. And I think this has really just kind of given people a purpose." 

Senior Megan Lolley is looking forward to getting her Birdie alarm. Lolley said having a way to protect herself is comforting.

"It feels dangerous to be up there right now," she said. "I felt scared for the last week." 

The project shows just how much the Vandal community cares, Lolley said. 

"To know that people outside of our little town of Moscow have heard of what was going on and want to make sure that we're safe means a lot to me," she said.

Uhlorn said that she eventually hopes to pass the project along to someone at UI. For now, she will continue accepting donations via Venmo and ordering as many alarms as possible.

"Unfortunately, we can't predict what's going to happen," she said. "The device is ... a little sense of comfort. You have something; it's better than nothing." 

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