Hurricanes hit hard but Tech students hit back harder

MARIA SANCHEZ/SUBMITTED: Maria Sanchez, left, marketing and management major, and Megan Bell, right, communication and broadcast journalism major, help the tennis team load a moving truck at one of the Hurrican Harvey Relief drop-off points.

Arkansas Tech is home to students from different backgrounds and from different places, but when disasters strike, Tech students come together to help out our neighbors.

On August 25, Hurricane Harvey hit the United States. This was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. Harvey lasted until September 2, and on September 10, Hurricane Irma hit Florida leaving yet another destructive path.

But Tech students are coming through to help.

The International and Multicultural Student Services Office along with other organizations have already hosted donation and collection tables for the hurricane relief.

“It is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanity, Because We Can, Department of Diversity, Inclusion, Red Cross Student Association and the Student Government Association,” Judy Crouch, the admissions officer of international and multicultural student services, said. “All proceeds from our fundraiser will go to the Texas Diaper Bank.”

Students still have opportunities to help whether by donating money, donating supplies or going down to the places that have been hit by these storms.

“I would send students to a volunteer VOAD partners, which is volunteer organizations active in disaster such as Catholic charities, Baptist relief, Red Cross, Salvation Army,” Dr. Sandy Smith, head of the emergency management department, said. “I would send them to get in touch with someone who already has all the paper work that’s needed to actually provide relief in those areas.”

Grant McMurry, a member of the Van Buren County Rescue Squad, is trained in water rescue and began to make his way with other volunteers from the Department of Emergency Management toward Houston. The Arkansas rescue groups took 30 boats to the scene, according to McMurry.

“A lot of the classes I have taken at Arkansas Tech, especially the emergency management ones, have been really helpful in preparing me to assist at times like these,” said McMurry, who has a paramedic/emergency medical services academic credential from ATU and is currently working towards his Bachelor of Science degree. “The emergency management program encourages students to reach out at times like this.”

Natural disasters happen around the world and the United States is not the only one who has been affected by the recent hurricanes. Any money, supplies, or blood donations can help make a difference to all those affected.