Student to Student: ND Supports Hurricane Victims

By: Allyson Roche ’19   

Students Sophia Santo Tomas ‘20, Scott Young ‘20, and Riley Scott ‘19 wear free dress in support of Student to Student Day.

Thousands upon thousands of Texans fell victim to the historic floods and rainfall of Hurricane Harvey during the first week of September. Many of them, who could carry nothing more than the clothes on their backs, need assistance in order to overcome Harvey’s lasting impact.

Notre Dame took steps to help Catholic school students in Houston who were affected. Tuesday, September 12th was Student to Student Day. 

Students were asked to donate $5 or more to the NCEA’s (National Catholic Educational Association) “Student to Student” campaign. This fundraising program, which launched on September 1, 2017, was originally established to support Catholic school communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, but has since been expanded to include Catholic school communities damaged by Hurricane Irma as well.

The NCEA will distribute 100% of the funds collected to dioceses in the affected areas for their Catholic school communities in vital need of support due to the impact of the hurricanes.

A total of 280 students participated in Student to Student Day, with many donating more than the recommended $5. In all, students raised a total of $1827. 

Some ND Students have been directly affected by the hurricane. “My whole family lives in Texas, and I’ve spent summers all my life in Port Aransas,” Lauren Boylston ‘19 said. “Our home was destroyed, but my whole family was safe and that’s what matters in the end.”

Jenna Browne, ‘18 expressed gratitude toward ND’s approach to help those in need. “My uncle had to evacuate because of the hurricane. What ND is doing is really inspiring and I am really happy to go to a school where current events are really important,” Browne said.

Experts say that it is too early to determine how long it will take to completely rebuild the city of Houston, but the rainfall has been called “The 500-Year Flood.” Hurricane Katrina was frequently called the “100-Year Storm” and rebuilding is still continuing 10 years after the disaster occurred. Additionally, experts still cannot estimate how long it will take to rebuild Cuba and Florida as the total structural damage continues to be assessed.

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused between $150 billion and $200 billion in damage to Texas and Florida, comparable to the costs from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005,” according Karma Allen of ABC News.

Although Florida residents are required by law to have hurricane insurance, many of the victims in Houston did not have hurricane insurance and will endure a myriad of problems and troubles in trying to pay for the damages. With and without insurance, however, recovery will be both physically and emotionally taxing.

If you donated to the NCEA and Student to Student Day and still feel you can contribute more, there are several other legitimate organizations that need your support.

Making donations to American Red Cross, All Hands Volunteers, the American Humane Association, and the ASPCA will help flood relief efforts so the cities affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma can begin to rebuild.

If you missed participating in Student to Student Day, you may still contribute directly to the NCEA at this link http://ncea.org/NCEA/donate.aspx

 

 

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