NJCU Conducts Supply Drives for Hurricane Victims in Houston and Puerto Rico

NJCU Conducts Supply Drives for Hurricane Victims in Houston and Puerto Rico

New Jersey City University, acting in partnership with “Jersey Strong for Texas,” recently served as a major organizer of a massive drive that led to the collection and delivery of more than 7,500 desperately needed items to Houston’s Third Ward, where so many of the city’s poorest residents were devastated by Hurricane Harvey in late August.

Organizers of “New Jersey Strong for Texas” and “NJCU Stronger than the Storms” are now turning their efforts, along with the City of Jersey City, to assist the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Assemblyman Jamel Holley, of the 20th Legislative District, who led the “Jersey Strong for Texas” project, and Dr. David Weiss, an NJCU professor, initiated the first community service partnership earlier this fall for Houston that involved 127 volunteers, including NJCU students, The Student Government Organization at NJCU, NJCU alumni and staff, the Boys and Girls Club of Jersey City, and students from Hudson Catholic High School, University Academy Charter High School, and Dickinson High School.

As part of the project, Holley arranged for seven community-based collection sites throughout New Jersey to host supply drives for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Items collected included toiletries, hygiene materials, supplies for babies and elderly people, school supplies, non-perishable foods, and cleaning supplies. Hudson Catholic and UACHS also conducted supply drives, and several Jersey City Rotary Club members volunteered their time to take inventory and separate supplies donated for the Houston relief effort.

Weiss secured a $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor to aid in the hurricane relief efforts. The donation funded the purchase of 2,500 NJCU backpacks that were used to make individual care packages for the hurricane victims, as well as aided in the funding of transporting the donated items to Houston.

Led by Robert Quinones, Assistant Director of Campus Life and Coordinator of the NJCU Center for Community Service and Volunteerism, volunteers spent the last weekend in September on campus, sorting and packing 65 boxes of donated items that also included 1,000 bottles of water. The boxes were delivered to Houston in early October.

“Our nation and the world have been grieving over devastating tragedies – from Texas and Florida, to the storms that decimated the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and the horror of the shootings in Las Vegas,” said NJCU President Sue Henderson. “We see that at times such as these, there is a resurgence of hope as individuals and communities rush to the aid of those in need. The NJCU community is always ready and willing to offer its help and support to the local community and beyond. This is who we are.”   

The NJCU Center for Community Service and Volunteerism is also pitching in on the recent donation supply drives to aid hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Spearheaded by Jersey City Councilman Daniel Rivera, the City of Jersey City has conducted several supply drives for Puerto Rico. The NJCU Center for Community Service and Volunteerism has been hosting a supply drive for several weeks, and recruiting students to separate, inventory, and pack donated items to ship to Puerto Rico. As they did for Houston, members of the Jersey City Rotary Club have been readying supplies earmarked for Puerto Rico.

In addition, the balance of the NJCU backpacks purchased with funds from the anonymous donor are being used to create toiletry care packs to be sent to Puerto Rico.