In the past two months Houston, Texas, the Island of Barbuda, and Puerto Rico have all been devastated by natural disasters, amongst others. Manhattanville has joined the relief efforts for each of these impacted areas. The relief effort has been headed by Father Will Tyrell and the Duchesne Center.
The first area that Manhattanville set out to help was Houston. An email was sent out to students on Aug. 21, two weeks after the hurricane, citing the destruction that Hurricane Harvey unleashed in Houston. The email suggested the best organizations and websites
to donate for the relief effort: The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Houston Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi, The United Way of Greater Houston, and the Valhalla Fire Department’s Hurricane Harvey Donation Drive. Many students donated goods to the Valhalla Fire Department, which were delivered to Houston by the department.
Hurricane Irma was the next natural disaster to strike. The island of Barbuda was one of many islands impacted by this hurricane. Manhattanville has a personal connection with the island, which is the reason they chose to join the relief effort for Barbuda. Nancy Todd and Wendy McFarlane, both biology professors at Manhattanville, previously conducted research on the island and have personal connections with multiple groups. Professor Todd started a GoFundMe page to aid Barbuda. By using this personal connection Tyrell was able to encourage students to donate to the relief effort.
Hurricane Maria was the most recent hurricane to strike. Maria sent shock waves through Puerto Rico, leaving almost the entire island without power. The school has a vested interested in participating in Puerto Rico’s relief effort due to the high Puerto Rican population on campus. An email was sent to students that provided different ways that students could donate to support the relief effort. Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, Caritas Puerto Rico, and Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico were the three organizations that students were encouraged to donate to. The school works with the Saint Bernard Project (SBP), by sending students to Red Hook, N.Y. and Staten Island to help the process of collecting goods and preparing them to be shipped to places in need. The school has worked with SBP since the devastating occurrence of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Father Tyrell has been at the forefront of Manhattanville aiding the relief effort. He has not done it alone, working with the Center for Inclusion, Latin American Student Organization (LASO), and the Office of Student A airs. An event was held on the mini- quad, between Founders Hall and Spellman Hall, on Oct. 21, to raise awareness for the relief effort. The event had student performances, with many student-run clubs in attendance, including UNICEF. This event kicked o a three week long fundraiser, run by the Duchesne Center, where students can donate goods or money to support the relief effort.