Lauren Hannani culture editor
Although the storms have passed, efforts to raise money for Houston after Hurricane Harvey’s significant damage are still underway. This now applies to our own school district as well, which has teamed up this month to bring quick and efficient relief to Texas.
After the Category 3 hurricane came to an end in September, ASB and Service Learning formed a committee to plan a fundraiser after finding out that they were both interested in collecting money for the cause. When they later found out about the elementary and middle schools’ similar interests, the district decided to carry out one big fundraiser.
“We wanted to be able to connect with the other schools and have something going on as a whole,” Service Learning committee chair Megan Halavi said. “There’s more benefit in one big, great thing than just a bunch of tiny things.”
The district plans to send the donations it receives directly to the Alief Independent School District in southwest Houston, Texas–the same school district that basketball coach Jarvis Turner’s mother works for as a teacher.
“Since I’m part of the basketball team and Service Learning, when I found out that Jarvis wanted to get involved more, I got to become close with Jarvis and figure everything out,” senior Justin Matian said. “I had him come to the meeting and talk about how we can get Beverly to help.”
As a result of Turner’s involvement and other helpful members in the group, committees throughout the district were able to sit down together to organize a fundraiser that they were all passionate about carrying out successfully.
“We have all of these connections, so the emails were flying; we wanted to do something, teachers wanted to do something, students wanted to do something. It was really everybody at once,” Service Learning advisor Jamie Marrs said. “So it was really great to have such a variety of people because they had researched different ideas and different problems, and we narrowed it down to what Houston really needs and how we can make sure that happens.”
From Oct. 3 to Oct. 14, the five schools in the district all set up tables on campus and began collecting money from students and parents. Overall, they raised $3179.97.
“It really shows the power of our actions, how a few shared ideas can lead to a committee and a district-wide event,” ASB member Chloe Levian said. “It’s inspiring to see what we can accomplish when we come together to help others.”
Because of the committee’s goal to raise as much money as possible, ASB and Service Learning continued collecting donations until Friday, Oct. 20.
“In the past, I’ve led events like the canned food drive, and with that, I surpassed the goal immensely, so I want to do that with this, too,” Halavi said.
Although the schools have all finished fundraising for this first round, students who participated in the planning committee are hopeful that the district will continue donating necessary supplies to Houston in the upcoming years.
“Who knows, this could become a tradition like Albion Street, and we are a part of the first year,” Levian said.
One thing is for sure: the determination to help those affected by the disastrous hurricane is not stopping anytime soon, at least in our district.
“For me, the end of collecting donations isn’t going to be the end. I really do want to see more events taking place to help Harvey,” Halavi said. “I know I want to do a diaper drive at some point, I’m sure we’ll do something with school supplies. The relief they need isn’t over.”