Yale University Chaplain's Office

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, The Texas Society at Yale, in collaboration with other campus groups, continues to mobilize to provide support to those in affected areas.

On Friday, just one week after The Texas Society held its first fundraising event at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, the student group held a bake sale, “Hearts for Houston,” to raise money for Harvey victims. For the event, Yale Dining prepared 1,000 heart-shaped cookies, which were packaged by a group of students on Friday morning at the University Chaplain’s house, according to Texas Society members Esteban Elizondo ’18 and Catherine McGeoch ’18, who organized the event. Members of the Yale College Council posted a notice about the bake sale on the YCC Facebook page and helped sell the cookies on Cross Campus throughout the day.

As of Sunday evening, the student group raised just over $1,000 through the cookie fundraiser, Elizondo said. The money raised will go to the Hurricane Harvey relief branch of the American Red Cross, as was the case with the first fundraising event.

“We are very happy with the amazing support from the Yale community,” McGeoch said. “We’ve received donations from people who actually couldn’t even come to buy cookies, like alums who aren’t on campus but just heard about the cause.”

McGeoch said cookies that were left over from Friday’s bake sale were sold in residential college butteries and common rooms over the weekend and during the Health Activities Fair, which was held on Sunday.

In addition to baking the cookies, McGeoch said Yale Dining provided packaging materials for the cookies, including boxes, plastic bags, and red and blue ribbons. Yale Dining also designed fliers for the event which were distributed in dining halls and around campus, McGeoch added.

“[Yale Dining] honestly made it as easy as they could have for us,” Elizondo said.

Yale College Dean Marvin Chun told the News that the Dean’s Office reached out to individual students who are known to be “formally associated” with the affected regions. Chun noted, however, that these messages may not cover everyone affected, as a student who is not listed as being from the affected regions may still have friends or family there.

Chun also commended students mobilizing to support hurricane victims.

“I’m happy to hear that these fundraisers are being organized; … it’s great,” said Chun, adding that the University is happy to help with publicity and providing space for the events to take place.

Ayla Khan ’21 and Anya Pertel ’21 also praised students working to raise money for those affected by the hurricane, with Pertel adding that the organizers of the bake sale’s efforts were inspiring.

“In the wake of a natural disaster, it is vital for a politically active community like the one at Yale, to rally together for this initiative,” Pertel said.

Elizondo said he hopes future events held by The Texas Society will encourage charitable giving, specifically for victims of Hurricane Harvey and of other natural disasters that might pass through Texas.

McGeoch noted that with the onset of Hurricane Irma, The Texas Society is also eager to help with hurricane relief efforts beyond Harvey and is looking to work with other student groups on campus.

“We talked with some Floridians who came by our table on Cross Campus and want to organize something with them,” McGeoch said. “There’s nothing set in stone yet, but we’re definitely thinking about it.”

Elizondo said that the Athletics Department is hoping to hold a fundraiser for hurricane relief sometime during the year. According to Elizondo, the fundraiser would likely coincide with a sporting event.

Zainab Hamidzainab.hamid@yale.edu