In the wake of the recent tornado, groups across the Dallas community have joined forces to help clear debris and restore all they can.
Leading some of these efforts is Jesuit’s Student Council. The Roundup interviewed student council Vice President Will Nickols ’20 about their involvement in the relief effort.
How is Jesuit stuco cooperating with and/or coordinating relief efforts in the wake of the tornado?
Jesuit is coordinating some of its tornado clean up effort through a city of Dallas council member (Adam McGough) in the area. We are also working with Catholic Charities in Dallas and responding to miscellaneous needs as we hear about them. We are coordinating some of the relief effort through the community service and social justice department and some of it through grassroots efforts.
What efforts has Student Council already been involved in?
Tuesday night for about four, nine guys of us went to some neighborhoods hit south of Jesuit, where we partnered with the Dallas council member’s efforts. We cut and hauled tree limbs from the playground and recreation center of a Baptist church. We then went to a woman’s low-income house to help cut and move a hundred year old tree that was about four feet in diameter.
Wednesday morning, about twenty five guys and five teachers went to some neighborhoods hit in Richardson by Buckingham and Audelia. There, we walked the streets for about two hours, ringing doorbells and asking if people needed help clearing branches or roofing. At one house, we helped an elderly lady by clearing fallen branches and shingles in the front yard and by clearing roofing and fencing with nails sticking out of it in the back yard so that her dog could run around outside again. With tears welling in her eyes, she told us that she had no family in town and would have otherwise had to wait for insurance to clear anything. We also cleared branches from numerous other houses on the street so that larger construction crews could more easily access the larger downed segments.
Wednesday afternoon, about fifteen guys went to Northway Church south of Jesuit. There, we spent about six hours dismantling an enormous section of roof that had been ripped off so that the church could more easily dispose of it. We also walked the neighborhood, inviting neighbors to the dinner and neighborhood celebration that the church was hosting outside because the interior was completely ruined.
How has the turnout been at these service opportunities?
We’ve had a really great turn out so far, and I’m so proud of all the guys for stepping up to put others first and help in a time of tremendous need. “Men for Others” only matters if we put it into action. These last two days, we’ve put it into action. We plan to continue the efforts after school for the rest of the week if not longer. We’ll send out an email to the student body soon detailing what those efforts will be and who can help.
Jesuit’s community service office has also been involved in a variety of relief efforts across North Dallas and Garland. The Roundup walked through the different ways Jesuit students can get involved in the recovery efforts with Mr. Richard Perry. Initiatives he highlighted include:
Outreach to support campus and athletic programs: We are in contact with our partners from Thomas Jefferson, Ursuline, and St. Marks in offering our support for athletic programs, field use, and sharing of equipment.
Student Council and Senior Service Team Leadership of Clean-up Efforts – Sponsored through the City of Dallas and the offices of City Council Members McGough and Staubach Gates, this massive clean-up effort is focusing upon yards, driveways, and public parks that have been impacted. Jesuit seniors are at Willie B Johnson Rec Center (12225 Willowdell Dr., Dallas 75243) and also in several Richardson neighborhoods
Catholic Charities Disaster Relief Services – We are working with their program at Northway distributing food and cleaning yards today
Walnut Hill Elementary School – Walnut Hill Elementary suffered a total loss and the campus will be relocated to Joe Field Elementary, a campus which was closed this past July. Jesuit’s Rugby team and Rangerettes are hosting the students and families from Walnut Hill Elementary on campus this coming Tuesday, October 29th at 6pm for our annual Jesuit Trunk or Treat…. We are also hosting a book drive for them at the event.
School Supplies – Several of our United to Learn campuses have been severely damaged and some will not be reopening in the near future. We are working within the network to coordinate an assessment of what is needed at each campus and to host a supply drive once we have the list of needs.
Location of Housing for Families Reporting Total Loss and Unlivable Conditions – The community service and social justice department is contacting Jesuit families in need of assistance due to damage to their homes, sometimes total losses. They are being paired with a list of Jesuit families offering immediate housing accommodations, food, clothing, and supplies. Claire Moore from the Community Service and Social Justice Department is currently contacting families on the list to further assess needs, while matching needs to the families offering support.
If any Jesuit student would like to help with recovery, go to the Campus Ministry & Service Commons for more details. Stay tuned to The Roundup for part three of the tornado chronicles.
Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas offers young men an excellent, Catholic education in the classical Jesuit tradition with the purpose of forming a community of men with high moral principles and service to others.