NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Hurricane Harvey left the people of Southern Texas and Louisiana with 27 trillion gallons of rain, $90 billion worth of damage and 30,000 people without a home, according to CNN and Forbes. As Hurricane Irma continues to slash through Florida, The Guardian reports the storm already caused the relocation of over 160,000 people.
Even though Westminster College safely rests hundreds of miles away from the epicenter of the storms, senior Christian Na and the Student Government Association (SGA) brought a full-functioning service drive together in less than a week to aid hurricane victims.
“When people recognize the need, people will get together and do it,” senior SGA Service Chair Liz Smith said. “Westminster is a tight-knit group and a service-oriented campus, so if people are asked to help they will. People in the world need help now. When people need help, you do it, not just when its convenient for you.”
During the month of September, SGA and the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha are collecting monetary donations, gently used clothes, unperishable food items, toiletries, diapers, and other provisions to send to the Texas Diaper Bank, Houston Food Bank, Abundant Life Christian Center, The Hive Society and other areas affected by the storms.
“These hurricane victims are our family,” Na said. “And I believe in humans’ purpose of taking care of each other. So Liz [Smith] and I got together and started this project!”
Items can be donated to bins located at Student Affairs, the residence halls or townhouse 23 until September 31. A handful of local churches are serving as collection locations, as well, so that the greater New Wilmington community can aid in the efforts. Donors are encouraged to take pictures of their donations and to use the hashtag “#WCCares.”
“It doesn’t take that much effort from the community,” Smith said. “If you don’t need it, just donate it. We’ll take gently used clothes and anything you don’t really need. You don’t have to go out and buy a lot.”
Hurricane victims need help now, and Westminster joined together in light of busy schedules and the bustle of the beginning of the new semester to turn a disaster into a sense of hope.
“If you give a cold woman a jacket, you’ve made a difference,” Na said. “When you’re part of a community that’s learning to give, you’re moving mountains.”
As humans, we are called to aid those in need. No matter how small of a community, it is always possible to make a difference because Westminster students care and react when it’s necessary.