U of A Responding to Students and Others Affected by Hurricane Harvey
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas has more than 5,000 students from Texas, a substantial number of them with homes, families, relatives and friends in the six South Texas counties hit by the devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
“The news regarding the flooding in Houston and the surrounding area is shocking and we are concerned about our students from flooded areas,” said Melissa Harwood-Rom, University of Arkansas dean of students. “We are reaching out to those students and offering support and resources in their time of need.”
The professionals in the Counseling and Psychological Services at the Pat Walker Health Center are available to talk with students experiencing stress, and the staff and students in the Center for Community Engagement are already working on ways for campus members to help the victims. But they also have advice for those who really want to make a difference.
“If you find that you want to respond and assist with the flood relief efforts, we ask that you consider the following things before you respond,” said Angela Oxford, director of the Center.”
- Stay away from the disaster area. Only trained disaster response volunteers are needed during the first weeks of a disaster like this. Untrained volunteers are a liability – and possibly a danger -- during disaster response.
- Send money: This is the best way to assist. Until a response agency asks for specific items, money is the best way to assist. Supplies can be purchased and money can pay for the transport of the goods into the community. Programs like Red Cross can distribute funds to those in need or assist with housing, clothing and other essential items. Make donations only reputable non-profit agencies with 501c3 status.
- Give blood: Local blood centers are taxed during natural disasters, it’s a great way to help and it truly can help save lives.
- Watch for volunteer opportunities during the clean-up. There will be chances for volunteers to help during the rebuilding process. The Center for Community Engagement and the Volunteer Action Center will be coordinating opportunities in the future. Check their website for details.
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