Albert Lea students helping hurricane victims

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain and left thousands of people homeless and without needed supplies after it made landfall late last month in Texas.

Now, eighth-graders at Albert Lea High School plan to send needed supplies to people impacted by one of the most devastating hurricanes in U.S. history.

So far, students under the tutelage of eighth-grade teacher Lucas Novosad have raised $75 in a bake sale they are hosting this week. The money will be used to purchase 24-packs of water, non-perishable foods and canned goods on Saturday. The food drive lasts until Sept. 22. The half dozen students participating in the effort hope to collect 2,500 items to be sent to Houston.

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Eighth-grader Gracie Enser said she was drawn to volunteer because she was born in Texas and felt bad for the people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“I just wanted to help out,” she said. 

The students have made posters, met before, during and after school, and are looking at helping people who were affected by Hurricane Irma.

“We’re trying to help to figure out any way possible to help people,” Novosad said.

The Houston-area home of a cousin of volunteer Melanie Murillo’s father was lost in the hurricane.

Eighth-grader Mason Rafdal said fundraising shows students care about the people whose lives were changed by Hurricane Harvey. 

“It shows that some people actually care about what’s happening,” he said. “And, we have all these essentials here, like running water, clean water, lights, electricity. They used to have that, but now the hurricane has wiped out everything.” 

Novosad said even if students do not donate as much food as they would like to send, the effort will not be in vain.

“If it fails, at least we tried,” he said. “That’s the one big thing, is that at least we are doing something. And with the money we collected, we can go buy more stuff. That might help one family, but that one family is better than no families being helped.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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