In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Yale College Council, The Texas Society at Yale and the University Chaplain’s Office — among other campus groups — have collaborated to provide support to those affected by the flooding in Texas and Louisiana.
On Friday, the Texas Society and the YCC held a fundraiser for victims of the hurricane at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, a restaurant on Crown Street. The restaurant donated food for the fundraiser, which raised $2,300 for the American Red Cross, according to Catherine McGeoch ’18 and Esteban Elizondo ’18, members of the Texas Club and two of the event’s organizers.
From 7 to 11 p.m., attendees had access to a full buffet as well as happy hour pricing on drinks, for a $10 fee, according to a Facebook page made for the event. While both Elizondo and McGeoch said the fundraiser was a success, they stressed that it marks only the beginning of fundraising efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“I think we realized the fundraiser was successful when we started getting worried that the line was too long,” Elizondo said. “It’s going to be important to continue these fundraisers intermittently over the next six to 12 months and hopefully even longer. Even once the floodwaters recede there’s going to be a lot of damage and the hardest part is going to be to rebuild.”
YCC president Matt Guido ’19 said the fundraiser was particularly successful given that it was organized on short notice.
Elizondo said the fundraiser would not have been possible without the support of the YCC, which publicized the event on Facebook and through an email to the Yale community. Additionally, Elizondo said the Chaplain’s Office helped brainstorm ideas for relief efforts and spread the word about the fundraiser to Yale faculty.
“There were a lot of people that got involved,” Elizondo said. “Brother Jimmy’s was really helpful … and the Chaplain’s Office and YCC really put their support behind us in terms of getting the word out there and we really appreciated that.”
Elizondo and McGeoch said they are also planning a bake sale to raise money for the cause. According to McGeoch, students will sell 1,000 heart-shaped cookies on Cross Campus on Sept. 8. As with the fundraiser at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, the proceeds from the bake sale will also go to the American Red Cross.
McGeoch said that Yale Dining found an anonymous donor to pay for the 1,000 cookies, and will additionally be baking and packaging them in advance of the bake sale, which is aptly named “Hearts for Houston.”
“We came up with the idea of the bake sale with the help of the chaplain,” McGeoch said, adding that working with Yale Dining has been “great.”
According to McGeoch, a number of Yale alumni who heard about the fundraiser also made donations to the Texas Society in support of the cause. As of the evening of Sept. 3, Elizondo said the society was still receiving donations through its Venmo account.
Elizondo said he has also spoken with the Yale Athletics Department about the support it can offer going forward, but did not mention specific ways in which the department is looking to contribute.
Yale administrators have also expressed support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and their loved ones.
“The coastal area of Texas continues to reel from Hurricane Harvey, as the storm hits Louisiana, our thoughts are with the people of Texas and Louisiana, with our students, faculty and staff from the region, and with members of our community who have friends and family there now,” Yale Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews said in an Aug. 30 email to members of the Yale community.
And in an email to students the same day, Yale College Dean Marvin Chun stressed that students have the support of the heads and deans of their colleges, their instructors, their coaches, their chaplains, their supervisors and each other.
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