A donation was already made for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, but the campus community continues to collect donations.
The amount of rain that fell on the Houston area the past week can be hard to visualize. Matthew Cappucci, atmospheric sciences student at Harvard, tried to put it into perspective in an interview for All Things Considered on NPR.
“If you took the Empire State Building, more than a hundred stories tall, you could fill that entire volume 33,000 times with the water that fell on Houston and the surrounding areas. That shows you how much there was,” Cappucci said.
The amount of rainfall Houston experienced could fill fourteen million Olympic-size swimming pools, Cappucci said. Flooding has remained widespread and severe in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service.
Donation bins were distributed across campus last week, with students collecting toiletries, diapers, cleaning supplies, and other essential items.
Matthew Tuley, acting junior, said the donations were “quite literally through the roof.”
“Our original donation runner, Clara Foster, was unable to fit all of the donations into her spacious car. She got some of it down there, but we’ll be giving back piece by piece. I’ve been incredibly proud to see the support from OCU and particularly my fellow Houstonians,” he said. “I’m thankful that we still live in a time where people want to help their fellow human being.”
In an email sent to the student body, the Rev. Dr. Charles Neff, vice president of university-church relations, encouraged students to donate.
“We challenge every department, organization, club, and team to do your part to fill a bin at least once this month. The need will be great, so our calling is for our response to be even greater,” he wrote.
Religious Life is taking donations through the end of September. Students can donate baby food, diapers, toiletries, pet supplies, and other materials by placing them in bins labeled “Hurricane Harvey Relief.” Officials have placed donations bins in
- Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center,
- Walker Center for Arts and Sciences,
- the east wing of Kramer School of Nursing,
- Meinders School of Business,
- Ann Lacy Admissions and Visitor Center,
- Clara E. Jones Administration Building,
- Edith Kinney Gaylord Center,
- Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel,
- Gold Star Memorial Building,
- Walker Hall,
- Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center, and
- Sarkey’s Science and Law Center.
Callie Michaud, costume design and production senior, said she is impressed by the amount of support the country has shown for her hometown.
“There are literally lines of people in the streets, not because they need help, but because they want to help, even when they have lost everything,” Michaud said. “The story is starting to turn from one of fear of the unknown to one of unending hope and love outpouring from my community, of people helping each other even when they have nothing to give.”
Having been part of the college’s charity efforts, Michaud said she loves hearing about the positive impact OCU’s help has had on her community back home.
“It’s been hard on the students from Houston, not being able to do anything, so this has been a great way for us to make ourselves useful,” said Michaud.
Bethany Stanley, religious education sophomore, said her family and home in Houston were unaffected by the storm, but has many friends who did not fare as well.
“All of the work and efforts that our students and faculty at this school have put in fill my heart. I cannot put into words how incredible everyone has been. I love the community of this school,” Stanley said.
“It’s truly times like this that our country comes together. I’ve loved hearing of people traveling from all over the US to help those that have been affected by this tragedy.”
The National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics will host a Blood Drive from 12-6 p.m. Sept. 6 in Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center to help contribute to blood supplies in storm-affected areas.
Students interested in helping can also donate through other methods:
- The Red Cross website allows students to help by donating money, food, supplies, and even blood for those who have been injured. Donations to the Red Cross can also be made by texting HARVEY to 90999.
- The Salvation Army is also accepting donations on their website or by texting STORM to 51555.
- The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is taking $10 donations via texting HARVEY to 80100.
“I love how the school has pitched in to help those who have lost so much, it fills me with so much pride and hope,” said Suzy Newsom, university studies sophomore.