Community gathers to help Hurricane Harvey victims

Bree Scott, Co-News Editor

Photo courtesy of Facebook user @lewisu.edu.
Students, faculty and staff gather together in prayer for Hurricane Harvey Victims.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall the Texas gulf coast on Aug. 25, ripping through Houston and many surrounding towns such as Rockport and Port Aransas, before heading into Louisiana. Many towns, such as Bridge City and Port Arthur, are still facing catastrophic flooding. At least 39 lives were lost in the record-breaking Category 4 hurricane.

Lewis faculty, staff and students gathered in the Sancta Alberta chapel Sept. 7 for a Service of Light prayer for all those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. The University Ministry team expressed in an email to the Lewis community that while it may be impossible to be present physically to offer support to Harvey’s victims, people  can offer support in the form of spirituality.

“I feel for the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. As I have reflected on the destruction that I have seen, I have become very aware that it will take years to rebuild people’s lives, homes and neighborhoods,” said Steven Zlatic, director of ministry, “I’d encourage everyone to pray that those affected know that they are loved.”

Much like Houston’s Undies for Everyone organization, the University Ministry team announced in their same email that Lewis will also be holding a campus-wide underwear drive. Zlatic and the University Ministry team urge those who want to help in some physical way to donate new, packaged underwear to any of the drop-off sites around campus. Drop-off sites can be found in residence halls, Student Services, Athletics, Health and Counseling Services and University Ministry.

Lewis-alum Patrick Wilder has also taken it upon himself to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s wreckage, particularly the four-legged victims. Wilder’s businesses, All Automotive, Inc. and Manteno Quick Lube, will be donating $2 per oil change to help Austin Pets Alive in their efforts to relocate and rehome dogs and cats affected by Harvey. Much of Wilder’s family also resides in Texas.

“I choose to raise funds for dogs and cats because in Katrina and other disasters they were ignored,” said Wilder, “My family has always had a place for dogs and cats and we have always tried to help them.”

“Harvey is an event of biblical proportions,” said Kevin Simmons, a contributor from Dallas News, “Losses will be unimaginable and will test the resilience of a great city and region. The recovery will not be complete in days or even weeks. Impacts of this storm will linger for months and years and be felt well beyond southeast Texas.”

Whether it’s an undie donation, daily prayer or donating to organizations, like Red Cross, that are currently working to help those in need, members of the Lewis community should all come together in this difficult time to help.

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