By MARK LINDSLEY
With nearly 200 deaths, more than 2 million people without power and tens of thousands left without homes in Texas and Florida, the rest of America is coming together to help after recent hurricanes.
The relief efforts in Texas have been going strong throughout the past few weeks, and the most recent damage done by Hurricane Irma in Florida has only led to a strengthening of those efforts.
Just last week, Congress passed a $15 billion disaster relief package, and those funds have already been allocated, according to The Washington Post.
While the government does its part, there are thousands of individuals and groups that are donating time, money and items to try
and help the people affected by the hurricanes get back on their feet.
One of the highlights is Houston Texan player J.J. Watt, who raised more than $34 million in donations on the website youcaring.com.
The “Hand in Hand” telethon on Sept. 12 raised more than $44 million, according to ABC News. Celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Fallon and Beyoncé participated in the event, and spoke of coming together in hard times.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie authorized another 26 members of the New Jersey National Guard to be deployed to Florida to join the 19,000 members of the Army and National Guard who are assisting with Hurricane Irma relief efforts, according to the state of New Jersey’s website. Christie is also trying to pass a bill for the state to help fund the relief efforts for both hurricanes, despite the fact that Texas congressmen voted against a Hurricane Sandy relief bill back in 2012.
There are numerous groups throughout the state that are following the governor’s lead and are gathering supplies and money to help the victims of these natural disasters.
People who would like to help and attend or work at FDU or live locally can bring food, water and baby products to the Student Union Building’s information desk from Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the end of the month.
Those who would like to donate money to the Red Cross can do so by going to redcross.org and paying through a credit or debit card or through PayPal. Money can also be donated to the Red Cross by texting “Harvey” or “Irma” to 90999, which will result in a $10 donation per text and will be added to your phone bill.