Love to combat merciless Harvey--- TSUCI Provides Volunteer Service for Harvey victims in the NRG Center Shelter.

August 31, 2017

On August 31th, the day after Hurricane Harvey left, Texas Southern University Confucius Institute (TSUCI) immediately organized a service team of 11 Chinese teachers (respectively Xiaobin Hu, Lina Fa, Yabao Wang, Yawen Cao, Chenxi Du, Zhen Zhou, Zhuo Li, Yu Wang, Bo Wang, Heng Zhang and Pengle Qi), led by Chinese director of TSUCI, Prof. Xiao Yi. They went to the Houston NRG Center Shelter to join the relief work.

Since the evening of August 24, Harvey lingered the Gulf of Mexico for five days, bringing unprecedentedly large-scale rainfall to Texas, especially Houston. Hundreds of thousands of houses were damaged; cars were drowned; powers were cut off by the hurricane; schools and shops were closed; a large number of main roads were flooded. The city was almost paralyzed. The refugees had to leave their flooded home with children and luggage by boat or helicopter, or on feet. The flood also trapped Chinese teachers and volunteers of TSUCI. Even though Harvey’s destructive power was huge, their life and property were basically not affected because everyone was fully prepared before the hurricane approached: teachers parked their vehicles in a garage upstairs and volunteers parked their vehicles in school’s garage. They also stored food and drinking water.

Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey on Houston, the relief work is urgently required. The Houston government started the relief work at once to settle refugees. Adhering to “Benevolence”, an important belief in Confucius philosophy, which means to love and respect all human beings, teachers and volunteers of TSUCI all agreed to go to the Houston NRG Center shelter as soon as waters receded, to serve victims, and provide Chinese language translation help.

When the volunteers arrived at NRG, they were assigned to different positions after a brief training. Some of them were assigned to register victims’ information, some to make beds for victims, some to take stock of suppliers, some to distribute clothing and food, and some to help the victims to carry luggage.

In volunteering, the volunteers were greatly touched. There was a family of six children whose house had been flooded and whose mother had been in hospital due to inflection. Our volunteers accompanied these children patiently and played with them, bringing consolation and fun to the children. There was also The Roberts family who travelled to Houston, but got stuck because their car was damaged in the hurricane. They felt a bit relaxed to wait for their friend to come here and pick them up when they got good accommodations and services in NRG Center shelter. In the stories we witnessed Texas people’s optimism and the spirit of helping each other.

The hurricane is merciless but we do have love. Volunteers of TSUCI stood out at the first time after the disaster in Houston, and worked to creating an orderly, clean and tidy refuge with local volunteers. Four days later after the hurricane, the sun reappeared on the sky of Houston and brought warmth to the people. TSUCI sincerely hope that all the people who are affected by the disaster might walk out of the haze soon and rebuild their beautiful home!