Texas Hillel Volunteers for Harvey Recovery

We know that communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey will be recovering from the devastation for years, and we intend to work in partnership with organizations and communities that are bringing relief for the long haul. We also know that marginalized communities are the most vulnerable during and after natural disasters. We stand in solidarity with everybody impacted by the recent natural disasters, including communities of color, immigrant and refugee communities, LGBTQ communities, disabled communities, and homeless communities.  With this in mind, Texas Hillel students and staff are volunteering to aid rebuilding efforts and collecting supplies to donate to the most in need. 

On September 25, the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Maiya Chard Yaron, Texas Hillel Executive Director, Rebecca Mather, Texas Hillel Social Justice Coordinator, and a group of students drove to Houston to volunteer with All Hands, an organization that provides relief to residents in areas affected by natural disasters in the U.S. and internationally. The Texas Hillel group worked on a house in Meyerland that was completely flood during the hurricane.  Students and staff worked to rebuild the house, including cutting dry wall and removing cabinets and door frames.  Over the course of the day, the group also discussed the significance of volunteering year-round but also the symbolic meaning of helping others during the Days of Awe (Yamin Noraim).  Texas Hillel plans to return to Houston with All Hands again this semester.

Students can also volunteer locally to assist recovery efforts with Counter Balance ATX.  Counter Balance hosts people displaced by Hurricane Harvey in Austin.  Volunteers will be asked to meet the needs of the moment (tasks may include sorting, inventory, packing, or data entry).  All volunteering will take place in Austin with Texas Hillel assisting with carpooling to and from volunteer shifts.

This is just the beginning of our efforts to help southeast Texas rebuild.  To learn more about what Texas Hillel’s recovery efforts, click here