Hurricane Harvey was an astonishingly destructive Category Four hurricane that made landfall in South and Coastal Texas. This destructive storm left numerous people dead and thousands displaced. It created record levels of flooding damaging over 200,000 homes, businesses, and facilities. Harvey’s disaster destruction will have lasting impacts on Texas, and beyond, for months to years of repair. A group of students, from a variety of Masters programs, set out with the goal to serve those affected by the hurricanes. Desiree Shannon and Genny Fultz had the opportunity to lead this team of nine Krannert Masters students to Houston to help with the restoration after Hurricane Harvey. Their team partnered with the Krannert Professional Development Center, Shell, Send Relief/North American Missions Board, and Bayou City Relief. On site, the team immediately clicked, with everyone assuming a role that best suited their strengths. Although the work was physically challenging and many of students had never performed housing construction tasks before, they remained energized. After several hours of preparation and hard work, they served 264 hours of direct community service in five days. They saved tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs for homeowners by providing free flood damage treatment and labor. During their spare time, the group bonded with Purdue Alumni and Shell employees while trying new foods. Downtime provided them with much needed cultural and social experiences of a new city with a group of people united behind one vision: to serve. They saw the vulnerable side of Houston that was broken down, damaged, and scarred. The team’s impact touched both the victims directly as well as their friends, family, neighbors, volunteers, and many more. Their service aided the victim’s grieving process and financial burden, making it easier for victims to remain resilient and rebuild after the destruction.
Shannon, Desiree and Fultz, Genny
"Restoring the Damaged Pieces: Practicing Graduate Service-Learning in Hurricane Harvey–Wrecked Houston,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 6
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol6/iss1/10