BY: BRENDAN CAPUANO
Asst. News Editor
On Aug. 25, tropical storm Harvey gained strength as a category 4 in the Gulf of Mexico, and made landfall in the small Texas town of Rockport. The city of Houston and the surrounding areas have received massive damages caused by high winds, rainfall and flooding.
“Being from Texas, I am super familiar with the Houston area. It is 100% the poorest part of Texas,” said Devon McCormick, one of Sacred Heart’s Campus Ministers. “The fact that it hit there is really devastating.”
Despite Sacred Heart University being thousands of miles from Houston, various student organizations have felt the need to help those affected.
Campus Ministry, the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, the Women’s Hockey team, the Criminal Justice Department, the Student Nurses Association, Greek Life Gives, the Catholic Studies Department, Habitat for Humanity, and the Factory make up a sampling of the campus organizations who have come together to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“The support has been unreal. To see not only Texas and the country come together like this, but the Sacred Heart as a community stepping up as well,” said McCormick.
Kendra Sherman, a junior from Austin, Texas said, “It was really touching to come into campus ministry and see the donation jar. Even though we are in Connecticut, it’s still important to see people are willing to help in any way.”
Sherman recalled one student who stopped by Campus Ministry and said, “I don’t have much to give, but they need it more than I do.”
The money collected will go to Catholic Charities. According to their website, their mission is “to provide service to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.”
McCormick has friends and family in Houston who were directly affected by the storm. McCormick said “a lot of people thought ‘we will just wait it out, it won’t be that bad,’ but then it was. It was worse than people expected,” she said.
According to The Associated Press, 70 deaths have been confirmed as of Sept. 6. Thousands were rescued from flooded homes and streets during and following the storm.
“One of my friends is one of those people on the boats saving people or getting bodies out of the water,” said McCormick.
The Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo, took to Twitter to thank the countless individuals who helped save thousands of lives. Among those were the Houston PD dive team, Houston Police Officer Bert Ramon who is battling stage four cancer, and the media.
“To media professionals telling Houston & TX story, thank you for your tireless efforts! You’ve saved lives. Wishing you Godspeed with Irma,” he posted.
“All we can do is hope and pray, and whatever happens we will respond with love, compassion, and help,” said McCormick.