Hurricane Harvey brings UNA community together

By SGA Beat Writer Jessica Livingston

After Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas, the UNA community started helping.

Junior Emerson Chambers is hosting an event called Florence Loves Houston in the Mane Room Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.

The event has a $2 entrance fee with all proceeds going directly to flood victims through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

The Office of Student Engagement is taking up donations for the Hurricane Harvey Relief victims.

Hurricane Relief drop-off is located in the Office of Student Engagement. Leadership and Volunteerism partnered with Panhellenic to take up donations.

Bethany Green, assistant director of leadership and volunteerism said the donations are being sent with Room in the Inn, which has direct contact with an organization in Texas.

Student Engagement is collecting items including socks, underwear, diapers and wipes, feminine products, cell chargers (iPhones & Android) and Fast food gift cards.

The deadline to donate is Sept. 15.

The Office of Student Engagement is taking the donations to the Room in the Inn, Green said.

“The destruction has been nothing short of catastrophic, and early indications predict that this may be the most damaging hurricane ever to hit the U.S.,” said UNA President Kenneth Kitts and Student Government Association President Hugo Dante in an email. “While some have been blessed to have their homes and personal property spared, many Texans suffered, and are still suffering crippling losses from the storm. In times like these, the greatest need is for financial assistance.”

Green said different students were asking if the university would take up donations.

Senior Kevin Williams said that it is good they’re getting a head start on all of the hurricane damage donations.

“This hurricane season has been rough on a lot of the Southern states,” Williams said, “It’s comforting to know that students care to donate.”

Green and Ashley Christman, assistant director of Student Engagement for Fraternity and Sorority Life, partnered with Room in the Inn to send donations to Texas, Green said.

Room in the Inn plans to support the local hurricane evacuee relief.

“We have been informed that there are a large number of hurricane evacuees already here in the Shoals,” Room in the Inn said in an email. “Therefore, we are working on a plan to make sure that those who are here have adequate food, shelter and resources.”

Room in the Inn is with partnered with Volunteer Organization Assistance for Disaster, United Way, 211, local city officials, Florence Police Department and the local EMA.

The Shoals area has not been designated as an American Red Cross evacuee site, so these organizations are reaching out for local relief victims.

All of the emergency and disaster relief people are recommending people direct anyone in need of any services to call 211, Room in the Inn said.

According to Room in the Inn, churches or or organizations who want to donate should coordinate through 211. All donations are accepted, such as food, gift cards, money towards helping people get home, money for prescriptions, transportation, counseling, or other supplies

To reach 211, go to their website at 211connectsalabama.org.