Forest Hills Central High student Sophie Bolen (courtesy photo)

How We Can Help Harvey Victims from Home

by Sophie Bolen  

This piece originally was published in The Central Trend. Republished with permission.

As the rain trickles down my window, I can’t help feel anything but gratitude. I am engulfed in dryness, warmth, and all my belongings and family members are secure from the dreary climate. Usually, I wouldn’t think anything of the fact that it’s miserable outside and that I am safe inside; however, the hurricanes circulating the South have raised awareness in my heart and mind about how fortunate we have been in the face of disaster.

In the wake and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I have found myself obsessing over the victims and destruction. I cannot even fathom evacuating my home or seeing it gone. My heart has been hooked on the victims and how I can help.

My immediate reaction was to figure out how to get to Texas. Obviously, that was impossible as school calls, as does the new attendance policy that limits what I can miss school for, even if it is the greater good. As I have been researching how I can partake in assisting in relief efforts from home, I have come across many local organizations and business that are taking donations right around West Michigan.

  • The Humane Society - You can donate to the Humane Society in aiding pets that have been displaced by the hurricane.
  • Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund - The relief fund was set up by the Houston mayor, Sylvester Turner, through the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
  • WZZM13 News - The news team is deploying a truck of donated items to Texas. You can find items in need on their website. Their truck is leaving on Sept. 15.
  • #Detroit2Houston - Sending a semi-truck of goods from the east side of Michigan.

These are just a few of the many opportunities to help the people of Houston. As always, if donating to an online source, make sure it is credible as scammers have already taken advantage of the crisis.

I have felt a tug in my heart toward the people of Houston, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one. Let’s show Houston what our West Michigan hearts are made of.

Sophie Bolen is a senior at Forest Hills Central High School. She joined The Central Trend staff her junior year and currently serves as the managing editor of finance. Her life has always had a creative spark: being involved in musical theater, acting in film, singing and writing poetry. She plans to continue writing after high school, as well as continue her work in film and television.

Submitted on: September 8th 2017

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