AHS’ Track & Field coach Mr. Schultz and resident Red Cross Club organize various drives as a humanitarian response to Hurricane Harvey.
By Sandi Khine
On Aug. 25, Category 4 storm Hurricane Harvey struck the coast of South Texas. The first hurricane in 12 years to make landfall in the U.S., Harvey moved slowly over South Texas for four days until moving east towards the Gulf of Mexico and dissipating in Louisiana on Aug. 30. At the time Harvey made landfall, winds were 130mph, which led to the destruction of several homes and buildings in the area.
Over the course of the four days that Harvey stayed over Southern Texas, precipitation was at an all-time high. Many homes and stores were completely flooded, thousands of people were displaced and refuge had to be sought in warehouses. By Aug. 29, 300,000 people had been affected by Harvey, and an estimated 30,000 displaced due to flooding and destruction.
People and organizations from around the U.S. reached out in efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Among these was Arcadia High School (AHS)’s own Mr. Christopher Schultz. An English teacher and track & field coach, Mr. Schultz organized a drive to collect t-shirts and other items to send to the University of Houston (UH) basketball team and Athletic Department. Mr. Schultz was inspired by a tweet from UH’s Basketball coach Kelvin Sampson to organize this drive. He “had a lot of track team shirts… and decided to get them together.”
Mr. Schultz’s original goal for the drive was to collect 300 items of clothing. However, after support from students and staff, over 700 items of clothing were gathered. He has personal connections with the victims of Harvey, as “a young lady who used to be on the track team recently moved down to Corpus Christi, so [he knows] some people who were affected.” Mr. Schultz’s contributions to those in Texas helped immensely, and he believes that the students have learned that “a lot of small acts of kindness and genuine human concern can go a long way.”
Another organization quick to step up and organize a monetary donation drive for those affected by Harvey was the Red Cross Club at AHS, led by co-Presidents James Shin and Nathan Wong. Unfortunately, Shin and Wong were unavailable for comment, but Vice President junior Jessica Hendra spoke out about her experience. The donation drive organized was “in collaboration with ASB to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey… students would donate to any of their classes.”
“They’ve lost everything, and being a sentimental person, the thought of losing some of the most important small items is really a difficult thing,” Hendra stated. “So I’m able to sympathize for them since they lost a lot.”
Over the course of a week, around $2,800 was collected from the students. The money will go to the American Red Cross chapter in Texas to help those affected by Harvey. Hendra has “full confidence that the Red Cross saves lives and helps those in need.” From the drive, she and her organization achieved the goal of helping a national emergency from a local standpoint, and learned how students “can help respond to disasters… to make the big difference that people need.”