By Rebecca Axford
There are many things students can do to help those struggling in the aftermath of this year’s natural disasters.
Concordia has participated in relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey already. Pastor Baumeister of Concordia University Portland sent a challenge to all the schools in the Concordia system to raise $1000 each to donate, which was done through the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Concordia University Nebraska raised $1100 dollars through donations taken during football games, reaching this goal at the homecoming game.
Because of the large number of students directly affected by Hurricane Harvey, Concordia has chosen to focus on this disaster relief.
This early in the cleanup efforts, money is the most pressing need in places like Houston.
“At the beginning their need is donations,” Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics Gene Brooks said. He added that every little bit helps. “College students don’t have a lot of money laying around, but that’s how that donation worked. There were a few twenties in there, but there were lots of fives that were thrown in and there were tons and tons of ones and it all added up to quite a decent amount.”
Hurricane Harvey hit Houston several months ago, but the city is far from repaired. Many people are still displaced, according to Rachel Royuk, who attends Lutheran South Academy in Houston.
“It’s crazy how you can be driving around through areas that are completely untouched and then suddenly there are houses that were all flooded with two feet of water,” Royuk said in a phone interview.
Director of Student Development Rehema Kavugha is organizing a trip to Houston over a break so that students can volunteer. According to Kavugha, it will probably be over Christmas or Spring Break. She is in communication with the other colleges in the Concordia system, as well as Lutheran South Academy.
Some students have been volunteering independent of the school as well. Over Fall Break several students from Concordia went to Lutheran South Academy to help them restore their building. Some students who are in-state National Guards have been called to active duty and sent down to Texas to help in the cleanup efforts.
Monetary donations can be made through the LCMS website or the Texas District LCMS website. They also have volunteer applications. One hundred percent of every donation made through the Texas District LCMS goes to disaster relief efforts. These and other charities will also accept donations for other disasters, such as the Californian wildfires or the earthquakes in Mexico.