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Students Volunteer After Harvey

Orchestra+members+help+family+move+damaged+furniture+and+appliances.
Orchestra members help family move damaged furniture and appliances.

Orchestra members help family move damaged furniture and appliances.

Courtesy or Kaden Gray

Courtesy or Kaden Gray

Orchestra members help family move damaged furniture and appliances.

Emmy Amaya, Managing Editor

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The Wednesday after Hurricane Harvey passed through Houston, many people reached out to others in their communities to help clean up their homes that were damaged by the storm. There were many students and teachers within the community that helped their friends, neighbors and people in their organization.

“I volunteered at River Praise Church in Tomball,” junior Sinclaire Wade said. “We got blankets and other needs for Harvey victims and put them in a truck, and took them to NRG and other shelters to give to the victims.”

While some students volunteered at their church and other local places, organizations such as HOSA, Band, Orchestra, etc. also helped the community.

“When I volunteered with the Orchestra program, Mr. Herron called a meeting with the officers, and said that he didn’t want to represent the orchestra program at all, but he wanted to get together and help the community, in general whether it was within our program or not,” junior Kaden Gray said.

For these students, volunteering began with helping the members of their organization before branching out and helping other families within the school, or community.

“I know a lot of people in our organization were affected by [Harvey], and a lot of our leadership team were reaching out and looking for ways to help,” senior Brandt Swanson said. “So, what we did initially was we updated our website with information about how to get help, and then we went out with our director and went to different homes. At first, we went to people that were in our organization and helped them with what they were dealing with, and then we went around that neighborhood and helped with other people that were having difficulty moving things.”

Though these circumstances caused a lot of damage, groups such as clubs and outside organizations volunteered, or offered their services around their local areas for the remaining days of the week.

“We started volunteering that Thursday [August 31], and I volunteered Thursday, Friday, Saturday basically from 8:00a.m to 9:00p.m. each day, and then after that we were kind of looking for little things to do, but at that point people were bringing in professionals,” Swanson said.

Many houses only had water damage, so that meant that those families either left to take refuge at a friend or relative’s that they knew would not get flooded. When clubs and local groups began helping, they began with moving furniture and drying the house.

“We dried out floors to begin with and then started to move out some of the bigger furniture, and then take out some of the more valuable stuff,” Swanson said. “And to go from there we had to kind of help set up for the people who were going to come in and put in new walls, so we had to take out the dry wall,” Swanson said.

Even though many groups came together to help, many students within these organizations started volunteering with their friends or families at other schools and neighborhoods in the district.

“I started volunteering… with the donations at Mittlestadt,” Gray said. “I personally didn’t help in my neighborhood because I actually didn’t know that my neighborhood got flooded.”

Incidents such as this affects many people at a time and whether some were directly affected some do see the damage caused around them and may feel for others.

“You kind of get survivor’s guilt, and you get to go home like ‘wow’ to a good home and these people don’t. They don’t have a home anymore they have like an apartment or a relative’s house, so that kind of hit me, but it was also amazing to see how much help was given out,” Gray said.

Courtesy of Kaden Gray
Orchestra member, Nathan Tran removes a damaged door.

Courtesy of Kaden Gray
Orchestra member, Mason Roth, and Director, Francis Tesoro work to take off another door.

Courtesy of Kaden Gray
Orchestra members, (from left to right) Kaden Gray, Mason Roth, Sarah Decker, Laura Mullis, and Rachel Pac gather to take a group photo while volunteering.

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Students Volunteer After Harvey