Seton Hall will host a Go Blue Hurricane Relief event on Sept. 13. The event is a multi-organization initiative planned to provide care and relief to those devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Michelle Peterson, director of the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE), said the day will serve as an expression of solidarity with those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Peterson is asking that students participate in the day’s unifying message by wearing blue.
“We are calling on Pirates everywhere to wear Pirate Blue on Wed., Sept. 13 and to donate to Catholic Charities Hurricane Relief Funds,” Peterson wrote in an email. “We are reaching out to our alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and friends to channel thousands of dollars to communities who need it most.”
There will be various stations positioned around SHU’s South Orange campus where members of the Seton Hall community can donate, according to Peterson. In return, donors will receive a Harvey Relief sticker. Campus Ministry has also designated a special collection for Harvey victims during the Mass of the Holy Spirit at 12 p.m., and donations will be collected at the men’s soccer game at 7 p.m., both on Sept. 13.
Gunnar Escamilla, a freshman business major, recently moved with his family to The Woodlands, Texas, approximately a month ago. The Woodlands is about 40 minutes outside Houston, Escamilla said via email.
Prior to Hurricane Harvey, Escamilla’s family prepared by stocking up on food and water. Fortunately, Harvey did not greatly impact his hometown, he said.
“The hurricane didn’t affect my family’s life too badly. My little sister’s school was cancelled for a little bit – more than a week,” Escamilla said. “They didn’t lose power, but some of the streets in the area were flooded due to the heavy rain,” he added. “Stores were cleared out, and most businesses weren’t open until a few days after.”
Although his family survived the storm relatively unscathed, Escamilla harbored some pre-storm jitters for his family.
“I wasn’t too nervous, but I still had some fears of the storm taking out our house or putting my family in a dangerous/vulnerable situation. I was able to still communicate to my family prior, during and following the storm,” Escamilla said.
Peterson invokes the University’s Catholic mission in emphasizing the importance of serving those affected in the south.
“Each time there is a catastrophic event, we, as a Catholic University respond to Jesus’s command: ‘love thy neighbor,’” Peterson said. “The Division of Volunteer Efforts organizes a unified effort to aid in disaster relief when it occurs.”
Thomas Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.