When Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast, many Texans found themselves thinking “What can I do to help?” After watching the scenes of unbelievable damage and destruction, a group of physical therapy students, faculty, and friends had the opportunity to travel to Houston to help with the cleanup. We headed to Houston at 5:30 on a Saturday morning, prepared to work all day tearing out flooring, drywall, cabinets, and anything else damaged by the flooding. While we were prepared for hard work, we were not prepared for the level of devastation we would see.

As we drove into the first neighborhood, the streets were piled high with mountains of debris pulled from homes. One of the homeowners told us, “My whole life is basically sitting on the curb.” Another homeowner had salvaged furniture and a few belongings in her home. She told us that she truly appreciated our help, but it was hard watching strangers moving “the only things I have left” from one room to another. As we returned to UMHB at the end of the day, we talked about what we had been able to accomplish. Even with the heat, humidity, and uncomfortable working conditions, everyone agreed they were grateful to be able to lend a helping hand.

It’s important to remember that, while the hurricane was a major natural disaster and was on the news for weeks, there are many individuals in need in our area – and their stories don’t necessarily make the 6 o’clock news. Many great organizations provide assistance to those in need right here in the central Texas area and they are always looking for helping hands. Food banks need help with sorting and packaging items for families. Organizations that provide free meals need help with preparing food, packaging meals, and/or serving food. Many student organizations on campus plan activities that provide service to the community, and the university sponsors a Reaching Out event each year.

As students, faculty, and staff of UMHB, each of us can contribute in some way to meeting the mission and values of the university by helping others. Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Look for opportunities to serve others and lend a helping hand!

Are you looking for a college where you won’t only receive an education for life, but also have an experience of a lifetime? UMHB wants to help you develop a clear vision of how to live a successful life, no matter where your path leads from here. We invite you to visit our website for more info, or stop by for a visit!