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Hurricane Harvey and How you Can help

By Kelson Howerton
On September 7, 2017

Hurricane Harvey devastates Houston area.
Photo Courtesy of  Business Insider

Hurricane Harvey swept through southeast Texas Friday, August 25, before pushing into Louisiana, leaving a sea of devastation in its wake. As the hurricane moved through Houston and surrounding areas, it left over 20 trillion gallons of water across the state, with some areas in the worst part of the storm receiving up to 51 inches of rainfall by the following Friday.

    The strongest storm to hit the United States in over a decade, Hurricane Harvey utterly devastated the Houston area, pushing over 42,000 people from their homes to 258 shelters offering care to survivors. Even worse, the death toll has risen to 47, with the number predicted to rise as floodwaters continue to recede.

    Texas Governor Greg Abbot told ABC News that the state faces massive cleanup processes far larger in scope than Hurricane Katrina. While the storm has now passed, Abbot ensured that relief efforts would be a “multi-year process for Texas.”

    Amidst the tragedy, many heartwarming stories of communities rallying together to help one another have emerged, reminding the country that when disaster strikes, Americans stand together. Charities and organizations from all across the country have rallied together to do all they can to contribute to hurricane relief efforts throughout Texas.

    While those of us at Concord University are vastly separated from the disaster in Texas, there are still countless ways in which students and faculty both can lend a helping hand to those in crisis. From local charities, to national organizations, there are many avenues to give both a piece of yourself and a portion of your wallet.

    One way in which you can contribute to the relief efforts right here on campus is simply by buying a Concord T-shirt. The CU Compassion Committee and Gap Fund are currently selling Concord T-shirts to raise money for Harvey victims. The shirts come in two designs, both costing $20 per shirt, and all payments are due to Connie Shumate by September 11.

    Going hand in hand with the T-shirt sale, the President’s office is currently collecting new Concord T-shirts to send to Harvey victims who are without dry clothing. However, the office is only accepting donations through Friday September 8, so act fast if you want to contribute to this campus charity.

    There are countless national organizations accepting donations, including the American Red Cross, which makes donations as easy as texting HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Alternatively, you can make donations of any size to the Red Cross by phone or online. If you do not have money to give, the Red Cross is also encouraging people to donate blood in one of the many Red Cross sponsored blood drives held throughout the country. The times and locations of Red Cross sponsored blood drives can be found on the Red Cross’s website. In the coming days, there will be several blood drives in Mercer county, including ones at Johnston’s Chapel Baptist Church, the Mercer Mall, and Montcalm High School. The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Catholic Charities USA, AmeriCare, and Global Giving, just to name a few, are all accepting donations by phone or online to help provide emergency needs such as food, clothing, medicine, shelter, support services and long-term recovery assistance to Harvey survivors. To help families with vulnerable children, Save The Children is working to provide infants and toddlers caught in the hurricane with supplies and services, and is accepting donations online or through texting HURRICANE to 20222.

    All of these charities are doing incredible work to provide care to those in need, so anything you can spare will go a long way to help thousands of Americans in need. Texas is facing one of the worst disasters in American history, but together, Americans from Athens, West Virginia to Houston, Texas can work to lessen the tragedy facing this nation.

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