Campus City News

How to volunteer in the wake of Harvey

Hundreds of UH students living on campus, which was relatively unaffected by flooding, have been volunteering at shelters and donation collection points around Houston, including the Dynamo’s BBVA Compass Stadium. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — which in Houston, according to the New York Times, set a record for rainfall from a single storm in the continental United States — volunteer and donation efforts are being organized as rapidly as the flood waters filled streets this week.

President Renu Khator sent an email Wednesday addressed to UH Alumni and Volunteer Leaders asking recipients to donate to a UH Cougar Emergency Fund, which will “provide comfort and ease to UH students who find themselves with hardship as a result of the storm,” and the American Red Cross.

“I have never seen this spirit of support more alive than over these last few days as Hurricane Harvey has touched down in our greater community,” Khator said in her email. “Cougars helping Cougars is at the heart of this most challenging time.”

Those who cannot donate money but still wish to help can spend their time volunteering for various organizations around the city.

In addition, the student organization Metropolitan Volunteer Program is supporting high-volume shelters like NRG Stadium and George R. Brown Convention Center, MVP Director Lisa Menda in an email.

“We hope to continue to help carpool students to these shelters when the University re-opens,” Menda said.

Menda said MVP will be working with its community partners to identify what help is needed and how MVP can fulfill those needs with donations and volunteers.

UH students can volunteer with MVP by signing up for events and shifts by visiting their website.

The OneStar Foundation advises potential volunteers against self-deploying since unexpected arrivals to affected communities creates additional burdens to first responders.

Instead, those willing should go contact an organization listed above or another reputable disaster relief organization.

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