BY MARIE NALAN
This week, Drake University was part of a unique project for the greater good.
On Sept. 13, Drake University students hosted a Hurricane Harvey Relief Drive in Olmsted Center.
Organized by Bakari Caldwell, community outreach senator, the drive was in collaboration with Des Moines Relief for Harvey Victims, a coalition of community organizations focused on providing relief to those in need after Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding in Houston, Texas.
Des Moines Relief for Harvey began when local organizations decided to collaborate and help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The coalition, which includes Roosevelt High School Athletic Department, Brother 2 Brother, iJAG and Hip-Hope, decided to “adopt” C.E. King High School, a school in Houston that has been devastated by the flooding.
This Des Moines coalition is putting on a series of drives in the area to raise supplies for the rebuilding of the Houston school. All of what is raised will be taken by truck down to C.E. King in the coming days.
Drake University got involved in the collaboration when Caldwell heard about the project through the coalition’s organizations, many of whom have a community service relationship with Drake.
“As community outreach senator, my focus this semester is going to be bettering our relationships with the Des Moines public,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell thought Drake could collaborate in this community project that serves the greater good tangibly. He also expressed that this was a more appropriate way to donate rather than giving money to a large-scale organization. C.E. King High School will be directly given what is raised to help them rebuild and restart classes.
“Helping those in need should be on our priority list,” Caldwell said.
In conjunction with Des Moines Relief for Harvey Victims, Caldwell and Student Senate put on a donation drive on Wednesday. Students donated bottled water, toilet paper, toothbrushes, school supplies and more.
Caldwell also reached out to Fraternity and Sorority Life about doing their own fundraisers as part of the project.
“We are really hoping to get some Fraternity and Sorority Life participation,” he said.
He said several social fraternities and sororities brought in goods, as did many individual students.
Students involved worked hard to ensure the event was a success, and many items were donated. Student Senate believes that this project helped those in need right now in our country.
“All human life is important, so we have to help people that are going through a harder time than ourselves,” said arts and sciences student senator Emily Anderson, who helped at the event.
“We are privileged enough to be in a safe area, a safe community,” Anderson continued. “So we should be helping others get on their feet again.”
Caldwell said Drake students are in a place where a large amount of charity work should be happening.
“The majority of students going to this predominantly white, liberal arts private college are in a position of privilege to some extent,” Caldwell said. “Giving people the space to help those in need is pretty important. So many people want to help, but they don’t know how, so we’ve done the work, and now all they have to do is come.”
For more information on Des Moines Relief for Harvey Victims, visit their Facebook page.