Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

    Community efforts prove Vikings Houston strong

    Two student-organized donation campaigns will take place this month to provide aid to the area that was affected by Hurricane Harvey. From money to blood donations, the Augustana student body and Greek Council have created opportunities to get involved in the storm’s relief efforts.

    Junior Andrew Silverman has lived in Houston his whole life and is heading a campus-wide initiative to fundraise money for the city. As of Monday, Sept. 4, booths in the Brew have been set up to receive donations. These funds will be collected for the next three weeks and will go directly to Houston football player J.J. Watts’ relief foundation, which has already raised $20 million to repair areas of damage and support the city’s residents.

    The need for relief in the area is at an all-time high as restoration of infrastructure has begun after the storm.

    “Basically everything’s been at a standstill; everyone’s been home the whole time. If you didn’t stock up before, grocery stores were empty. There was no bread by the time it was about to hit. When the stores did start opening up again, there were certain resources that they still didn’t have. At Wal-Mart, lines went through the door. There’s no bread. Water’s very scarce,” Silverman said.

    The idea started when another student asked how Silverman’s family was doing in Houston, which sparked interest in creating an Augustana effort to make a difference, even if the impacted area was hundreds of miles away.

    “The cool thing about it is that it’s going to be successful no matter what because literally every penny counts for Houston right now. It’s a whole city that has to be rebuilt,” Silverman said, “We want to take the initiative to bring the campus together in a way that – since I’ve been here – I haven’t really seen before.”

    The campaign is not associated with any particular student group but rather aimed to engage the united Augustana community. Silverman hopes that though the storm has affected areas far away, Augie will come together to do what it can for Houston.

    “Our hashtag is ‘Vikings are Houston Strong’ because that’s been a really big thing in Houston with people who are trying to keep up morale. People with big pickup trucks and Jeeps have been going around trying to rescue people – just random people. We can’t do that, but if we can do our part to be ‘Houston Strong,’ it doesn’t take too much to get involved. It just takes donating,” Silverman said.

    On the other hand, Augustana’s Greek Council has set up a blood drive slated for Thursday, Sept.14 in the Gavle rooms. Walk-ins will be accepted based on availability.  These donations will go to the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, which has partnered with other national blood centers to provide relief to area in need after natural disaster, like Houston.

    As an incentive, blood donations can be counted as service hours, which are required of every Greek chapter.

    While the drive is hosted by Greek Council, students and staff do not have to be in Greek life to donate, and they hope that they get donations from all students.

    “Having this organized by the Greek Council allows for a greater involvement from specifically Greek members. We are encouraging all Greek groups to be very supportive and informative about the blood drive to all their members, to hopefully increase the number of donations,” Joel Nelson, the vice president of fraternities, said.

    Students who did not sign up on the email list are still encouraged to walk in and donate blood.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Community efforts prove Vikings Houston strong