Judd: Relief work for Hurricane Harvey shows American resilience



Houston residents in the Lakewood neighborhood return home to begin rebuilding from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, efforts in Iowa and across the United States show our divided nation can work together.

By Constance Judd

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As John F. Kennedy once said, “In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.” This quote rings true in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Leaving more than 200,000 homes damaged and 12,700 destroyed, 37,000 people displaced, estimated death toll of 60, and billions of federal dollars pouring into relief, it may seem as if all hope is lost. However, people of goodwill have come and banded together to not only aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey but also to bring hope to those who seemed to have lost it.

Last month, Hy-Vee announced it will take donations for those affected by Hurricane Harvey starting Aug. 30 through the end of September. It is willing to match up to $100,000 in donations. All proceeds will be given to the American Red Cross in the hope that together, we can quickly overcome the crisis and destruction left by the hurricane.

Other companies such as Casey’s General Store have begun accepting donations for those affected by the hurricane. On campus, many organizations such as UISG and GPSG have organized initiatives to help those affected by the hurricane by providing information to students, faculty, and staff regarding ways that they can either directly lend a helping hand or stay informed.

On Wednesday evening, the Gamma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity organized a fundraiser on campus in partnership with Cold Stone Creamery to aid those affected by the hurricane. Taking a moment to realize that many of our own are affected by the by the hurricane itself — such as Kappa Alpha Psi member Anthonie Perla — it is crucial that we take the time to extend a helping hand because as Hawkeyes, we help one another. With all proceeds made during the fundraiser, the Gamma chapter plans on donating the money to churches in Houston while also donating from its own pockets.
Additionally, the organization is looking to possibly build connections with real-estate agents in Houston to begin rebuilding homes for those who have lost theirs.

Many local organizations are accepting nonmonetary donations for disaster relief. Needed items are nonperishable foods, clothes, water, and sanitary products that can help ease the transition of those affected in rebuilding their lives. Information regarding relief for Hurricane Harvey varies from organization to organization, so it is crucial to first check the organization’s guidelines.

In times like this, it is important for us to remember that no matter how different we may be, in the end, the only true thing that matters is our humanity. Banding together like we are now bridges the gap that has developed in our country — including but not limited to political parties, racial differences, and religious beliefs — and restores the faith that we can work together in a time of crisis.

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