Giving Back to the Community During Hurricane Harvey

Stepping Up

Forensic science students helped displaced residents and pets during Hurricane Harvey.

The Department of Forensic Science found ways to give back to their community by volunteering locally during Hurricane Harvey.

“We couldn’t go to The Woodlands because of all the flooding, but we still wanted to give back,” said Elizabeth Chesna, president of the Society of Forensic Science (SFS) student organization.

Students in the department cared for residents driven from their homes by floodwater at the Lone Star Cowboy Church and displaced pets at the Sam Houston State University Agriculture Center. The Forensic Science group also initiated a collection drive for non-perishable food items and clothing for those in the shelter at Huntsville High School.

“We were spared,” said Lindsay Glicksberg, vice president of SFS. “We could drive around, and we had power. We wanted to help those that didn’t.”

Four students, including Chesna, Glicksberg, Rachel Houston and Carrie Mayes, helped care for about 40 dogs that were housed at the Agriculture Center, which served as an interim shelter for the pets of evacuees. They helped sort food for dogs and cats, swept and cleared the area, and walked the dogs. “We are all animal people,” Glicksberg said.

At Lone Star Cowboy Church, about nine students helped with kitchen duties to supply hot meals to about 300 residents fleeing the storm or went out to Montgomery to clean out flooded houses. In one house, the first floor was completely destroyed along with the contents of a home-based business. The cleanup involved tossing out all furniture and ripping out floors, walls and insulation.

Among the students that helped at Lone Star Cowboy Church were Glicksberg, Mayes, Mackenzie Hale, Jessica Winborn, Stephanie Basiliere, Clarra Moore and Abby Guerin from the Department of Forensic Science; Illeana Moore from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Elle Moise from the College of Business Administration.

The Forensic Science group also mounted a collection drive to serve families that escaped to the Huntsville High School, one of two shelters in Walker County.

Member of The Texas State University System