Houston Volunteer Trip


Over the weekend of October 21 – 25, seventeen Newman students traveled to Houston, Texas to provide assistance to those in need after the devastating Hurricane Harvey. Newman students worked alongside volunteers from the non-profit organization, SBP, throughout their trip. The students worked on demolition and mold remediation. The mold remediation included wearing Tyvek or hazmat suits, respirators, and goggles. During the remediation process, many students complained about the heat and difficulty breathing, yet they persevered and worked to rid four houses of mold. Together, the Newman and SBP volunteers helped four families expedite their return to Houston in a period of three days.

Personally, I felt that this was an incredible experience. I was able to see the unbelievable recovery the city had made in only eight weeks. My expectations were shattered, and I arrived to see a mostly functional city with clear efforts to recover. When asked about the trip, sophomore Roan Sutton said: “I was amazed by the perseverance and positivity of the community despite all of the destruction.” Roan, like most of the students, was surprised to see the many people out helping in the neighborhoods and moving along like they were not affected. Senior Sam Robbins spoke about the volunteering: “The work was both rewarding and really fun.” This was the view of most, if not all, of the students who went on the trip. The experiences students had together really helped build valuable and, hopefully, long-lasting friendships. Junior Edward Schreiner, who was shocked by the devastation, said: “I felt as though we were really making a difference in the Houston community.” Along with all of the volunteer work students did, students also had some fun: “I liked interacting with the stray dogs,” said freshman Tatum Reiss. Overall, the Houston trip served as a valuable lesson on service and volunteering for the students from Newman, as well as an enjoyable experience for every student involved.