Hoosiers Helping Houston raises funds for hurricane affected school district


IU graduate and SoundCloud hip-hop and rap artist Rex Avant performs his original tracks at the Hoosiers Helping Houston event Wednesday afternoon at Dunn Meadow. Hoosiers Helping Houston is a fundraising event put on by the Helping Hoosiers organization with proceeds going to the victims of Hurricane Harvey this year.  Steven Lin Buy Photos

Tricolor inflatable slides, live music and free food drew visitors to Dunn Meadow on Wednesday for a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey relief. 

The Hoosiers Helping Houston fundraiser, organized by the Union Board, collected clothes, food and money donations, as well as charged $1 to let people have fun on large inflatable slides, obstacle courses and more. 

“What better way to raise money than to bring some inflatables, have some fun, charge a dollar, run down a slide and get together,” Angel Flowers, a Union Board staff adviser, said.

In addition to the event, donation boxes for clothes, school supplies and non-perishable items were placed in the Indiana Memorial Union and various residence halls from Sept. 11-19. All donations will be sent directly to a school board member for the Houston Independent School District later this week.

While the Union Board’s events usually take longer to plan, Hoosiers Helping Houston was planned over two weeks. Director of Campus Unity for the Union Board Ceci Jerry, a junior, said the organization wants to shift to more reactionary events instead of its usual long-term ones, and the Hoosiers Helping Houston fundraiser was an example of that.

“We want to see things that are currently happening in the world and how we react to them in how we program events," she said. "It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of event. It happened in two weeks, and I’m glad the board wanted us to participate in this way.”

Sophomore Joanna Sheriff, a volunteer for the Hoosiers Helping Houston event, became involved after hearing about the opportunity at an IU NAACP chapter meeting the day before.

“I have family in Houston, so I do have family members that were affected,” she said. “I’m just really trying to help out as much as I can on campus.”

Drea DeWester, a senior and co-organizer of the event, said that she’s hopeful the event can do a lot of good for the Houston area.

“We wanted to pick a small area we could affect but impact it in a big way,” DeWester said. 

Jerry said she’s happy to be able to effect change in her role on the Union Board. 

“What we wanted to do is help people," she said. "We wanted to do that for these kids because ultimately kids are the future, and we want to make sure we have a good impact on them during their formative years. Maybe they’ll do something like this in the future, as well.” 

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