Local Community Helps Hurricane Harvey Victims


Over the last week of August, Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to the southern coast stretching from Houston to Louisiana. Even now, after the storm has passed, there are still dangers being faced by residents that were not able to evacuate. From dangerous chemicals lingering in the floodwater to explosions at Houston’s petrochemical complex, there are many worries that still need corrected and addressed. While the storm certainly brought with it stories of suffering and struggle, there were also outpourings of positivity from both the residents of the affected areas and the people that traveled to Houston to help. People from all backgrounds came together to form their own relief efforts, personal rescue missions and even shelters. One story in particular focused on a local mattress store owner who opened his store to anyone who needed a place to stay. Stories such as these are what kept people hopeful and reminded everyone affected that they are not alone. Darious Singleton ‘18 came to Washington & Jefferson College from Houston as part of the YES Prep program. Singleton said that the storm “was straight out of a movie about the world ending. The flooding was unprecedented and it seemed to be never-ending. It broke my heart to see so many of the landmarks in Houston underwater.” While his family managed to pull through Harvey without much damage, Singleton still had to work through feelings of guilt due to not being there to help his family during the storm. “Most of us [YES Prep students] are first-generation college students who went away for school, so I know there’s an overwhelming feeling of guilt for not being there to help.” However, even with all of the rebuilding and relief efforts in mind, Singleton remains positive. “I think the hurricane brought out the best in people. Of course, there were some people taking advantage of the chaos, but the city saw itself come together for the greater good of their fellow man.” As relief efforts are still underway, there are several ways to help. One of the most popular and effective ways is through The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Mayor Sylvester Turner to accept donations for victims of the storm.