Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on the Friday evening of August 25th 2017. The devastation that the Category 4 hurricane has brought to South Texas resulted to the flooding of homes and already dozens of deaths. People and organizations across the country are volunteering to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Bloomsburg University’s Community Government Association are one of them. Joar Dahn, President of CGA came up with the idea of #Huskies4Houston, a relief effort to help the people of Houston.
“#Huskies4Houston is a relief effort we the student government have started after seeing the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Houston,” said Dahn, “After talking to some family members in Houston, I knew this was serious. I had the opportunity to meet with some influential people in our university to discuss this idea and they loved it and were willing to support. I decided that we take the initiative to organize this, it gives our students another opportunity to be philanthropic in our efforts of community service. We (CGA) pride ourselves on community service: as our signature event (The Big Event) is community service based. I met with CGA advisors and we discussed how best we can bring this #Huskies4Houston idea alive.” Hurricane Harvey was a personal issue for some of the CGA advisors since many have relatives in Houston. “CGA advisors loved the idea as one of them had family members in Houston that were affected by Harvey too, others on the executive board had family out there as well so that just gave us more of an incentive to make #Huskies4Houston a reality,” said Dahn.
CGA encourages people on campus to donate to the cause. “People can contribute by providing us some clothing, blankets, cleaning supplies and of course monetary donations, all of which will be transferred to verified Texas relief efforts. Monetary donations can be made via the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s page TakeActionBU.org/Huskies4Houston,” said Dahn. “Domestic donations can be dropped off at The Nelson Field House, the Kehr Union or other locations that will be determined later.”
CGA has a goal that they are determined to reach. “According to the donation link, as of right now, we have raised almost $700 and we have a goal of $10,000 so we still have a long way to go but I have more than enough faith in the power of our students and social media,” said Dahn, “People can help us by sharing the links with the hashtag so that other can see and help as well. My goal is to have as much students as possible to donate and share the link on their platforms because they never know who might see it and decide to donate $1 or $1,000.
Dahn reminds CGA advisors the flood that hit Bloomsburg years ago in relation to the Hurricane in Houston.
“About 6 years ago, Bloomsburg was hit with a flood; years later, we still have some families in town that are still suffering the effects of that catastrophe. After speaking with some students and faculty that were personally affected by our flood 6 years ago, I realized that what is happening in Houston is not going to be over anytime soon. After coming to that realization, I consulted with our advisors (Neil and Tom) and we decided to come up with what we call #Huskies4Houston,” said Dahn.
The CGA president also mentions the importance of helping the community outside of Bloomsburg.
“If you guys remember or have seen the article in the CGA lobby, our predecessors went down to New Orleans about 3 years after Katrina. 3 YEARS… There were still a lot of things that needed to be done 3 years later that our predecessors felt the need to take a trip out there and help out,” said Dahn, “We are the Community Government Association, and I think it’s very important that we realize that our community is much bigger than 17815, our community is bigger than Columbia County, then Pennsylvania.”
#Huskies4Houston will create a positive impact on campus because it is a way to unite the students here on campus for a cause that is much bigger than us as students and faculty,” said Olivia Chandler, CGA Exec. Assistant, “The #Huskies4Houston relief effort will truly make a difference for our neighbors who need help and encourages civic responsibility. It also creates a way for students to learn the importance of community service and helps us as a University to develop more ways to solve community needs. Bloomsburg University’s #Huskies4Houston relief effort will demonstrate that we are willing to be apart of a change and excited about shining light to those in need.”