Harvey Relief Efforts

Children, teenagers, and adults stand outside in the 90° heat with sweat dripping down their foreheads. With hair in messy knots and various tools in hand, they lean against the exterior of houses and speak in hushed tones. In front of them, lie massive piles of broken furniture, ripped apart drywall, and kitchen appliances, all of which are still wet from the previous days’ flooding. At the end of the day, many of these people will go home and sleep soundly in their beds, while others’ must stay with their ruined belongings, in the house they once called home.

Students and faculty of Klein ISD band together after Hurricane Harvey to ease the burden of those who have been most severely affected by the flood.

“The water came in so fast, we just couldn’t beat the water,” Debbie Russel, Early Child Education teacher, said. “There was nothing one second, and then in the middle of the street there was 6 feet of water.”

On the morning of August 27, multiple neighborhoods in the Spring area had high water, with some over eight feet high. Many Klein ISD students and faculty had to be evacuated from their homes due to the rapid rate of increasing water. Once the water receded, owners were able to return to their homes and begin the reparation process.

“After the hurricane occurred, I helped out by joining my church and inviting a few of my friends in work crews demoing houses that had been affected and just lending a hand to our community in every way possible,” senior Tyson Hunkin said.  “Seeing the damage done was hurtful, but to see everyone come together as one and keep positivity was just amazing and really touched me to see the love that was spreading from one to another, very grateful to be a part of such an awesome community.”

Individual students not only assisted by volunteering with outside organizations, but many also volunteered at the shelter on campus and the Klein Multi-Purpose center. These volunteers were able to assist in various physically and  mentally overwhelming tasks in order to give back to the community.

“I volunteered at the Klein ISD Multipurpose center,” junior Jenna Bluth said. “I did a lot of different things. Sometimes I would help people who had just come in find bedding and toiletries or I would watch their pets while they went and got assigned a room. I helped one lady by getting her kids some food and watching them while they ate so she could go find someone. They were still in their life jackets. They told me about how it was their first time riding in a boat when they got rescued.”

Not only have students been stepping out of their comfort zones and volunteering, but faculty and staff members have also joined together in order to help their peers in various meaningful ways.

“The faculty and staff here at Klein Oak have been absolutely phenomenal,” Mrs. Russel said. “Last Friday, they brought my family a barbeque dinner with envelopes full of gift cards and my team mates offered to do lesson plans for me when I couldn’t return to school with everyone else. The love and outpouring from the faculty at Klein Oak have been unbelievable and I appreciate it so much.”