Commerce lends a helping hand


SOL members stand outside James Gee Library collecting donations for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy/ Student Organization of Latinos

Imogené Wofford, Co-Editor

In a time of need Texans do what Texans do best, show compassion and caring through helping thy neighbor. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey made his way through Houston, TX and the surrounding areas taking 71 confirmed lives as of September 6, with 70 of those from the United States.

According to Brock Long, director of FEMA, Harvey was the worst disaster to [hit] Texas in its history, with more than 185,000 homes left damaged and 9,000 destroyed as stated by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

In a press release that was sent to the East Texan email, Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated Texas’s entire National Guard for rescue, recovery and cleanup operations following the floods.

“I found out Monday and I left Monday,” National Guard member and A&M-Commerce student whose name is being withheld. “It was the first day of school, I was getting ready for class and they came and said pack your stuff you’re going to Houston.”

The student recounted about being stationed in Orange, TX, a small city almost three hours east of Houston and what he did when he went to Houston.

“I went on two missions…and what stood out to me was how everyone was so grateful and happy that we were there. It was a good experience to see how it really is because I’ve never been in a flooded area where water was coming up to my knees and my waist, in some areas,” he said.

Different organizations and individuals within Commerce did their part to contribute to the relief by donating food, clothes and people to lend a hand to the relief. Donations were accepted by The Spot, located on the square, and the fire department.

While I was grocery shopping, I ran into a lady who was filling two shopping carts with food, water, items for babies, blankets, dog food, cat food, underwear and socks. When I asked what she was doing with everything she excitedly replied with “doing my Texan duty and helping my Texan brothers and sisters get back up since they have fallen down.”

The Student Organization of Latinos, one of TAMUC’s student run organizations held a donation drive in the walking mall of campus from Sept. 6 through 8.

“After finding out the damage Harvey caused, we set up a meeting with our executive board to find a way to help,” Eva Morales, SOL’s secretary, said. “Our VP of community service (Consuelo Armendariz) told us of a church member that was going to take the donations to the victims and thought it was a plan that was meant to be.”

Along with the table, the organization set up donation boxes in Halladay for the TRIO program and the lobby of the journalism building. SOL partnered with the Latin American Mentorship Program and received support from Omega Delta Phi.

“We had an amazing turnout we received mostly clothes, diapers, canned food, water and baby supplies. It was so heartwarming to see the school come together to help out the victims,” Morales said.

SOL will be taking donations until September 22.