SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Thousands of Texans are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, many of those flooded sent their children to local colleges around the same time the storm was hitting.
Texas State University estimates 8,500 of its students are impacted in one way or another.
“So many of us, we have family, we have friends that lost their house, that lost their cars, that lost relatives,” said Texas State student Rachel Warwick.
Warwick’s entire family lives in Houston, she says her aunt had to be rescued by the coast guard and her grandmother lost everything. “My grandmother’s house completely flooded, vehicles destroyed, everything gone,” she said.
Other students say they have noticed empty seats in classrooms as some students have yet to make it back to San Marcos. “It’s just a shame that everyone’s not here yet to experience the way they want to start college, but we all look forward to them coming and joining us and learning and having a great year,” said Texas State student Austin Vonderheid.
Along with his fraternity, Vonderheid has been raising money at the university to help rescue and care for the animals in the Houston area. “There are so many animals and we just want to help in whatever way we can.”
The university as a whole is also doing its part by creating an online Hurricane Harvey relief fund. “We want to make sure we are addressing everything, both short term and long term and help them to the best of our ability,” said Texas State University Assistant Dean of Students Kathryn Weiser.
Weiser says many students come to the university with help from their parents or someone back home. For those who have family in Houston, receiving financial help may be difficult as they recover.
“That takes away from student’s ability to pay their own rent, to pay their textbooks, so we want to make sure our students are getting the basic necessities and fill in that gap where they would normally have that financial assistance from their families,” said Weiser.
The money donated will go straight to the student who can then buy whatever they need to support themselves as those back home recover.
“Bobcats helping Bobcats, that’s just what we do,” said Weiser.
The university will be collecting funds until the last week of this month.