UH Athletics collects supplies for Hurricane Florence victims

Just over a year after basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson called for donations after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast, UH Athletics called on the Houston community to help those in need in the Carolinas, which were hit by Hurricane Florence last week.

Much like Harvey did to Houston last year, the Category 4 storm has flooded much of the coastline and left residents in need of food and shelter.

Athletes from multiple teams including soccer, basketball and football were on site to help donors load the goods into the trucks.

UH football players loaded the supplies into one of the team’s trailers that is usually used to transport equipment. With the Cougars not scheduled to travel for almost a month, there was no question they could afford to send the truck.

After the first day of donations, UH extended the supply drive to the end of Tuesday and offered free tickets to the TSU game Saturday to anyone who donated.

While supplies on the first day trickled in, the second day saw more support pour in.

“It was pretty steady all day. We kept getting truckloads every hour or something like that. It was pretty busy this morning, and it never seemed to slow down,” said assistant director for Game Operations and Event Management Tyler Kremzar.

Near the end of the drive Tuesday, MC Green, his wife Shamica and his son Clone arrived with a truckload of water bottles to donate.

“We were affected last year with Harvey and we’re still rebuilding from that,” MC Green said. “We have friends in the Carolinas, and once we heard about this drive we knew we had to help.”

The Greens were not alone. Chris Egan, a 1994 alum, and Donna and Francisca Mata, a mother and an aunt of a UH student, arrived soon after with water and baby supplies, such as diapers and formula.

“I saw all the support from around the world come to Houston last year after Harvey and I knew I could help here, even if it is just in a small way,” Egan said.  

While Egan said his home was not seriously damaged by Harvey, the Matas said they lost everything in the storm.

The Matas heard about the drive from Donna’s son Julian, an engineering technology
sophomore at UH. She said there was no question she could and would lend a hand.

“We want to help because we know how it was when we went through it last year,” Donna Mata said.


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