Living on the shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico is not without its cost. The gorgeous waters that offer beach days, boating, fishing and adventure also harbor potential destruction. Every year from June to November, especially from August to November, coastal citizens check our weather forecast with fingers crossed that the next storm track does not include us. On Friday, Aug. 25, the citizens of South Texas braced for their turn. Harvey came ashore southwest of Houston a category 4 hurricane, bringing with it -in one weekend- more than 50 inches of rain, which is more than the usual amount of rainfall for the entire year.
St. Petersburg College’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement is leading the way for the SPC family to send hurricane relief to our distressed neighbors in Texas. Everyone is invited to drop off donations of bottled water, non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothes, bedding and other necessities to any SPC Student Life and Leadership Office through 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. All donations will be turned over to the Red Cross for their disaster relief efforts in Texas. Cash donations are also helpful, and can be made at the Red Cross or The Salvation Army.
In letter to all of SPC, College President Tonjua Williams said the weather event being experienced in Texas is very relatable to people in our coastal community.
“As Floridians, we know all too well the pain and anxiety that can occur during and after severe weather events like the one happening to our neighbors across the Gulf of Mexico,” she wrote. “We also understand how important it is to reach out and lend our assistance to others in their time of need.”
The storm knocked out power for more than 100,000 people, and officials predict that around 30,000 people will take refuge in public shelters, and some 450,000 will seek disaster assistance. So, the needs of this community are enormous. Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement Director Tara Newsom says they are encouraging everyone to donate – no matter how big or small.
“The amount of loss in Texas is painful, and directly impacts many of our SPC staff, faculty and students,” Newsom said. “Helen Keller said it best: ‘Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.'”