Hurricane Harvey’s Helping Hands

Photo by Tracy Staats

On the morning of August 2, the DSHS front lobby turned victim to flooding.

More precisely, a flood of donated supplies for the school’s Hurricane Harvey relief effort. Piles of toiletries, trash bags, diapers, and non-perishables overflowed to reach the doors, almost blocking students’ paths while simultaneously showcasing the amount of support Dripping Springs gave to those in need.

“I thought it was just a great way to get our school more involved,” senior Mia Haraguchi, NHS president, said. “I know everyone had it on their minds and were looking for a way to kind of help out, but no one really had an outlet for that.”

In terms of organization and effort, the Student Council and NHS concurrently played a pivotal role in donation efforts. Aside from setting up supply drives at each of the district’s schools, there were also spare change drives at each location, and a community supply drive were also put into place by these clubs.

“[I was] outside collecting all the donations from the community and the parents that brought them in, and we would sort them and put them into the trailers,” senior Will Whitfield, Student Council Vice President, said. “Also, we all worked with Student Council, planning what we’re going to do with those donations and what we needed to have donated as well.”

For some, helping with relief hit close to home. Due to the proximity of Hurricane Harvey, many relatives and friends of students were bound to get caught in the storm.

“A lot of people at this school, including myself, have family in the Houston area or along the coast,” senior Emily Barefield, NHS member, said. “That makes the relief effort more personal.”

In addition to NHS and Student Council, clubs and organizations like the swim team, golf team, band council, and varsity and JV cheerleaders made a hefty impact with Harvey relief. Business, Spanish, and aquatic science classes also contributed significantly.

“I helped collect donations from a couple of the sports teams, like softball and baseball,” Barefield said. ”I also collected extra cash at the football game.”

Within the span of five days, four trailers full of supplies and $13,700 were collected throughout Dripping Springs. Even in such a short amount of time, students united the community in an effort to make a difference, and doing so in an extremely efficient manner.

“We donated it to the Austin Disaster Relief Network,” Haraguchi said. “We had one organization we were thinking of, and we were just trying to get a more organized effort.”

Hurricane Harvey hit hard, destroying houses, cars, and even the lives people built for themselves. With almost nothing left, many coastal and Houston-area civilians will accept any extra help they can get in result of the great losses they suffered. If the chance to help bypassed some, donations can still be directed to organizations like the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund, the L.G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund, and the Houston Food Bank.

“I think the main goal was just to get everybody to come together as a community, and help everybody else that was struggling,” Whitfield said, “[those] that have lost everything.”

Written by Katie Haberman

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