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September

Hurricane Harvey Updates

Since Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf region, people have been asking "What can I do?" We all feel a sense of urgency and empathy for our family, friends and neighbors in the impacted areas. The Office of Civic Engagement would like to reiterate some important messages, while identifying ways you can help right now.

  • Volunteers will be needed on an ongoing basis over the next upcoming months and years. The Office of Civic Engagement and the ASB Advisory Team will let the campus community know when the time is right and when we've found reputable organizations with whom to partner. But for right now, it is not safe.

  • We should not assume what Houston and the Gulf Coast may need in terms of physical items. Many donations never reach their intended destination and too many donations overwhelm areas that cannot store them. This creates a second disaster. Please see the list below for organizations that can use your help.

Ways To Help


Monetary Donations. Monetary donations are critical. Please see this listing from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) and choose an organization that shares your giving philosophy. Organizations to consider include:

  • Houston YMCA: Text HOUSTON to 91999
  • United Way of Greater Houston: Text UWFLOOD to 41444
  • Salvation Army: Text STORM to 51555
  • Red Cross: Text HARVEY to 90999
  • YouCaringSet up by Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt

Texas Diaper Bank: The Office of Civic Engagement is partnering with Wilkes-Barre Councilwoman Beth Gilbert to support the Texas Diaper Bank. Diapers and wipes are urgently needed. This ongoing drive will conclude on Sept. 11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Donations may be dropped off at the Office of Civic Engagement, Henry Student Center Room 203, at the Henry Student Center Information Desk or at a participating Shiel's Market. Donations will also be accepted at Club Day on Thursday, Sept. 7, under the Student Development tent.

Woodlands Church: Wilkes will be collecting items to support the Woodlands Church who accepted many evacuees. Wilkes alumni Theresa Johnson suggests:

  • Monetary donations
  • Gift cards (Wal-Mart, or Costco as well as Shell or Exxon gas cards)
  • Clothing items, particularly for children. This includes socks, shoes, shorts and t-shirts; cotton is recommended.

Blood Drive: As you will see in the Today@Wilkes announcement, Wilkes will also host a Blood Drive on Sept. 19 in the Henry Student Center lounge. This joint effort with Civic Engagement, Public Safety and Student Government is  a tremendous way to support those affected by Harvey. Blood resources have been depleted as resources are diverted to areas of disaster. Your local donation is urgently needed. To sign up, please go to redcrossblood.org and enter WILKESU to schedule an appointment. 

Be sure to check Today@Wilkes for more Harvey updates. If you have any questions, please contact Megan Valkenburg, Civic Engagement Coordinator, at megan.boone@wilkes.edu. Thank you.


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