Editorial: Pride in helping others

In response to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, community members gathered together to support those in need


Carson Lewis

Damage caused by Hurricane Harvey is estimated to be around $180 billion.

Catastrophe crashed in the form of a storm in Houston on Aug. 25. Residents were warned of an incoming hurricane, but nothing prepared them for the devastating floods overtaking homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The level of damage is uncertain as water recedes and damage is revealed. Victims will be in need for months as they relocate or rebuild.

The community drew together to provide for those who lost homes and jobs through volunteers and donations. Even students and faculty here reached out to the public to make a difference, and The Red Ledger is so proud of the school’s quick response to help.

Nicole Sanders, the Willow Springs newspaper advisor, opened her home to a family who lost their house to Hurricane Harvey. According to sophomore Madeline Sanders, they are welcome to attend Lovejoy, though their plans are uncertain for now. The Student Council, led by anatomy and physiology teacher Theresa Dollinger, gave Visa and Walmart gift cards to aid in meeting immediate needs during this unstable time. Because of these Leopards’ large hearts, some financial burden is being lifted off the backs of these families.

To donate, most people would have to go through the Red Cross or Salvation Army, but Inga Van Wagoner, on behalf of the district, invited the community to drop off donations at the school and her home. She spread the word through posters, pep rally announcements, and the social media hashtag #HelpforHouston. Through her efforts in the five days following the hurricane at each campus and car line, her home, and the Tom Landry Classic, the district gave a total of $50,718.26.

PALS, led by assistant athletic director and head boy’s basketball coach Kyle Herrema, also took advantage of the opportunity to live out what Herrema said is one of their greatest missions: to serve the community. By sharing the Red Cross donation center donation links and information via text message, the two classes were able to raise over $1,200. In addition, PALS students shopped for food, clothing, and toiletry donations. Herrema said they were able to bring several car loads to Van Wagoner’s house.

These incredible efforts made by Lovejoy leopards expressed the giving, selfless attitude promoted by the school.  The community served as an example of what others should do in response to a crisis– come together and give in compassion for those in need. The Red Ledger is honored to call this school ours after several successful movements to touch the lives of those who lost so much.

We encourage students to continue donating as these families’ lives will be consumed by the hurricane until they rebuild their homes and jobs. As more hurricanes devastate areas of the country, the need for help will multiply. According to businessinsider.com, as of Sept. 1, 300,000 people already applied for financial aid in the aftermath of Harvey. Donations to the Red Cross or Salvation Army will help relieve those affected by the storm. The need for help has just begun.