Donations available for campus’ Harvey victims
To help individuals recover from the loss of homes and vehicles from flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Center for Student Involvement began accepting donations on Friday and will continue through Sept. 15.
CSI is accepting a variety of donations, including new home supplies, new baby supplies, non-perishable food items, new toiletries and new clothing such as packaged underwear and socks.
“We have received a wide range of donations from members of the UH community,” said the Associate Director of CSI, Katy Kaesebier. “At this point, we have received and distributed hundreds of items to our fellow Cougars who have been impacted by Harvey.”
Kaesebier elaborated on why it is important for students to donate.
“I think there are a lot of really great things happening across the city,” she said. “There are dozens and dozens of organizations that are stepping up and providing different services, supplies and items to people in need right now.”
It’s a meaningful opportunity to have students, faculty and staff to give directly to their fellow Cougars, she said.
“Within the city of Houston, we have a community within a community here at the University of Houston, and we have a responsibility,” Kaesebier said. “I think there’s a lot of value in being able to step up, support our fellow peers and help them through a really tough time.”
As many members of the community suffered these losses, freshman Robert Haverly, who volunteered with CSI, said it was important to many individuals to donate items and volunteer their time to help others.
“I wanted to make a difference in the community,” Haverly said. “I’ve never been through a hurricane before because I’m from up north. I feel like being down here, Houston has really accepted me in, so I want to give back to it.”
Human development and consumer science junior Natalia Johnson agreed with Haverly.
“Since I haven’t been able to really go out in the community and UH provided this opportunity to volunteer on campus, I thought it would be good to take advantage of it, especially so kids can come and take stuff that they need if they were affected,” Johnson said.
While CSI has not directly accepted monetary donations, a Cougar Emergency Fund is available. This fund was created to give UH students impacted by Hurricane Harvey up to $2,500 to help pay for essential expenses.
The donations that CSI received were not only for students but also for faculty and staff that were affected. In order to receive donated items, any member of the University community should go to the Impact Room in the Student Center North between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
“I haven’t really had someone say, ‘I really needed this, but it wasn’t available,’ so I would say we’ve definitely been able to meet the demand so far,” Kaesebier said. “I think our challenge now is that we’ve had a lot of people donating, but I don’t know if everyone knows that it’s an opportunity for them to come pick up supplies.”