The costs of Hurricane Harvey are equivalent to over 25,000 free
Associate’s degrees for Cuyahoga Community College students. Harvey is estimated to cost as much as $160 billion. That includes lost wages, property damage, and economic losses.
Rebecca Quiroga, a college student in Texas, had to deal with property damage firsthand. Her house flooded so badly, they had to throw away a lot of water-damaged belongings, as well as doors and parts of their walls.
The magnitude of this catastrophe isn’t lost on members of our own community. The president of Tri-C, Alex Johnson, is hoping to help people affected by the storm. He understands the burden of natural disasters on a college and its students.
“I was chancellor in Del Gato College during Katrina,” he said. “As I reflect on my experience, I find it very similar to what is now going on in Houston. And I do know that support from the external community would be most welcomed.”
While it’s important to help the general public, it’s also important to focus on young adults.
“I want to ask faculty, staff, and students for their support for a fund that at some point in time we can distribute to the hardest hit institutions in that area,” Johnson said. “A lot of the students, a lot of the staff, and a lot of the faculty members are suffering some personal losses, some of whose lives are quite honestly being devastated. And those are the people we should consider helping.”
Currently, he is working with the American Association of Community Colleges, which represents the needs of community colleges and helps them in times of crisis. Through this organization, he was put in touch with schools in the area.
“They have shared with me that perhaps the best way to get money into the hands of students is to donate directly to the institutions,” Johnson said. “That may be our tactic here.”
We can all help by donating to any number of charities, like the Feeding Texas Foundation and United Way for Greater Texas. Those are two verified charities, so you know your money is actually going to benefit those in need.
You could donate blood to the Red Cross; there will be a blood drive 10 a.m. September
28 at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center, Theatre Lobby on East Campus.
Those are just a few examples of how you can help the victims of this hurricane and
others. Texas and Florida may seem very far away, but students are there who are just like us. And they need our help.