Baylor reaches out to students affected by Harvey

Boxes collected at Highland Baptist Church for Hurricane Harvey aid. Photo credit: Jessica Babb

Baylor identified almost 4,000 students whose hometowns are in the Harvey impact zones across Texas and Louisiana. Martha Lou Scott, associate vice president for student life, reached out to each of the 3,972 students via email to offer comfort and prayer to those affected.

“I am reaching out to you because your home is in one of the areas most greatly affected by the extreme weather,” Scott said in the email. “What we want most is for you to know that Baylor cares and that we are here to help in any way that we can.”

The email, titled “Praying For You,” also included the phone numbers for the Counseling Center and the Spiritual Life Center.

Scott said that there has been an overwhelming response from students wondering how they can help.

“It’s amazing because we reached out to these students to ask how we can help them and they responded asking how they can help other students and their families,” Scott said.

Scott stressed that students have different needs depending on where they live and how their families were affected. Scott said they have referred students to the counseling center as well as made appointments for students to meet with employees in the Cashier’s Office to discuss tuition payments that may be affected by the storm.

Scott said that, moving forward, the safety of students is the most important thing. She encourages students who are wanting to go home to areas that have been affected by the storm to be sure they can make it to their destination safely before leaving for this long weekend.

Houston senior Alex Vrettos responded to Scott’s email thanking her for reaching out and offering solutions for how Baylor students and administration can help.

“My family and friends are going through this tragedy and it’s devastating to be helpless hundreds of miles away,” Vrettos said. “I felt like I needed to do something so I responded to Mrs. Scott’s email with some suggestions.”

Vrettos asked Scott to spread the word about recovery funds students and staff can donate to.

Vrettos said it is encouraging to her to see everyone from all over Texas and the country coming together to help those affected by the Hurricane.

“Everyone coming together gives me hope and really shows the character of our country that we support each other at our lowest points,” Vrettos said.

In President Linda Livingstone’s weekly Thursday email she expressed her concern for those affected by the storm and letting students know that there is a FAQ document to support students.

“Words cannot express the sorrow that fills my heart every time I see a photo or receive an update regarding the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” Livingstone said in her email. “As the storm continues to ravage parts of Texas and now Louisiana, I am reminded of the goodness of people who will step out and serve.”