SWAU Response to Hurricane Harvey

SWAU Response to Hurricane Harvey

Darcy Force

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the southern coast of Texas, leaving a path of destruction through Galveston, Corpus Christi, Rockport, Houston, and surrounding areas. The storm is currently moving at a slow space and is still creating havoc in the area, with damaging winds and a possibility of much more water falling before Thursday.

Southwestern Adventist University has alumni, friends, and family of current students who are still in the impacted area. Since the storm hit, we have been reaching out to them to ascertain how we can be of assistance. Because the storm is still active, we are not yet able to go into the area to offer aid. The area is unstable and we have been advised that a physical presence would not be helpful at this time. We are communicating with the local Johnson County disaster relief chapter, Adventist Community Services, shelters in the DFW area, and our local conferences and Southwestern Union officials to be available to give assistance as soon as opportunities arise.

Our campus family is anxious to help. As we receive information, a list of opportunities for helping local shelters and disaster response organizations will be updated here.

Please join us in praying for all those impacted and consider giving to or volunteering with the organizations listed below. 


Learn how one SWAU professor puts his degree experience to use during Hurricane Harvey rescues. 


How you can help:

Adventist Community Services - SWAU is partnering with ACS to raise funds and assemble Disaster Relief Kits. As the items for the kits are pre-approved, cash donations are most needed to fund this project. We need funds for more supplies before our students can help assemble the kits. Please consider giving via their website at http://www.communityservices.org/.

Sock and underwear drive – Our Enactus team met with the local Harvest House and have organized an effort to help Harvest House gather supplies for displaced families relocating to Johnson County. The items needed are diapers & baby essentials, laundry detergent, new packs of socks and underwear, and gift cards for restaurants along I-35. The Keene Church Choir is helping to collect donations. Boxes for collections can be found at Civitas Senior Living (Burleson office), Keene English SDA Church (114 S Fairview, Keene), Cleburne English SDA Church (111 Meadow Drive, Cleburne), Keene Adventist Book Center (201 S Old Betsy, Keene), SWAU-Findley Building (Enrollment Services Office), SWAU-Pechero Hall-Business Department, and SWAU- Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium. 

Mass Care Task Force - volunteer coordination, serving North Texas.

Update 8-3-17- Twenty-six SWAU students, faculty, and staff are spending the weekend at The Oaks Adventist Christian School, repairing damage from the hurricane. As the work bee progressed, the number of volunteers grew to more than 300, including many SWAU alumni. Read the article here. See photos here. 

Update 9-3-17 - Over 100 students, faculty, and community members helped assemble disaster relief kits at Adventist Community Services. They already need more supplies for more kits. See above for how YOU can help too. 

Update 9-5-17 - Kimberly Torres, sophomore nursing major and Victoria, Texas resident, knew that many of her friends and family were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. She immediately contacted all her friends on SWAU’s campus to help by gathering needed supplies. She soon had a pile so large that she had to ask for help in getting it all to her hometown. “Being here at school (in Keene) watching everyone back home lose everything just broke my heart,” shares Kimberly.

Update 9-7-17 - The Christian Ethics and Christian Beliefs classes, under the guidance of Dr. Bill Kilgore and Pastor Russ Laughlin, VP for Spiritual Development, help load a plane at the Cleburne airport with supplies headed for South Texas. Students are also helping by volunteering at the Keene Spanish Church supply drive.

Update 9-8-17 - Students are spending the evening packing and assembling yet more disaster relief kits. Additional supplies are still needed. You can help by visiting http://www.communityservices.org/.

Update 9-12-17- Blood Drive with Carter Blood Care at the Chan Shun Centennial Library.