On Valentine’s Day morning, the receiving area of the Syracuse University Bookstore in the lower level of the Schine Student Center was bustling. Fruit baskets lined one shelf. Other shelves held large bags called the Valentine’s Snack Attack—filled with cookies,…
University Offers Hurricane Relief Outreach
Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, hit the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana in the past week. The storm and its historic flooding have caused numerous deaths, affected millions of residents and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage.
As part of the larger community, Syracuse University is offering support to those impacted by the hurricane. Rebecca Reed Kantrowitz, interim senior associate vice president and dean of the student experience, reached out to the Syracuse University students who reside in the impacted areas on Tuesday to share information on the personal and academic resources that are available.
The Rev. Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel, is coordinating campuswide outreach efforts. “As a community of diverse and engaged citizens, we are fully committed to promoting a more compassionate, inclusive and life-giving society,” Konkol says. “Our particular and sustained attention to relief, development and advocacy is especially important in times such as these.”
Konkol welcomes ideas on outreach from members of the campus community; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.443.2902.
For those wishing to assist efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey, Konkol suggests the best way is through a financial donation. “Financial donations can be utilized quickly to assist those most impacted,” he says.
Konkol discourages the donation of material goods to help those affected by the hurricane. “Positive intentions do not guarantee positive impact. Those with years of experience in crisis response widely recognize that amassing and sending food, clothing and other items often generates more damage than benefit, as material donations require human and financial resources to supply, organize, clean, sort and circulate. These efforts too often delay and distract that which is required to reach the most vulnerable,” he says. “Financial donations allow relief efforts to be fast, flexible and most importantly, far more effective.”
Konkol offers the following list of organizations that are supporting those most impacted by the crisis:
• American Red Cross
• Catholic Charities
• Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County
• Greater Houston Community Foundation
• Houston Food Bank
• Islamic Relief USA
• Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
• Porchlight Inclusive Disaster Reponse
• SPCA of Texas
In addition to financial donations, several initiatives are underway that provide opportunities to travel and personally assist with relief efforts. For those wishing to learn more, contact Baptist Chaplain Devon Bartholomew at email@example.com or 716.983.7786.
Opportunity to Gather
Thoughts and prayers for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey will be offered during the weekly Dean’s Convocation, which will take place this Sunday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.