Wilkes University


Response to Hurricane Harvey from Civic Engagement

Dear campus community,

Americans are at our best when we are helping others. This is especially true in times of natural disaster. Wilkes has always extend our Colonel spirit to help our neighbors in need. Whether it be in the Wyoming Valley or far away in New Orleans, Wilkes has mobilized to lend a helping hand. Now the Texas Gulf Coast is experiencing Hurricane Harvey and the unrelenting rains that still fall.

Although we have big hearts, it is important to know when Wilkes services can be most utilized.Our local chapter of the American Red Cross has deployed volunteers. This is the organization with whom Wilkes will focus efforts.

Here are some reminders sent to us by our friends at AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service regarding what to do when disaster strikes that we hope you will take to heart and share with your friends.

  • Do not self-deploy as a volunteer to a disaster area. We know you want to help, but food, water, shelter and transportation are at a premium, and the first priority is making sure that first responders and local residents can get what they need. Entering immediately into a disaster zone makes you a liability. 
  • Do not show up before you partner with an organization. If you are able to volunteer, make sure to find an organization and sign up. Capacity is stretched during disasters and you need to make sure that you can be utilized, fed, housed and transported.
  • Donate funds. What most communities need is cash, not things. Find a reputable organization that is supporting the disaster response and recovery, and contribute. They can buy what they need and not have to worry about sorting and storing donations, especially when storage facilities may be damaged or being used to shelter people. Here are some national disaster response organizations you may want to consider.
  • If you so choose, you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. 

The Civic Engagement office will keep the campus community updated regularly as new information about particular needs and possible volunteer opportunities become available. 

Megan Valkenburg
Civic Engagement Coordinator