Students offer ‘Helping Hands for Houston’

Within two weeks, two massive hurricanes hit the Southeast, destroying thousands of homes and taking the lives of dozens. Named Harvey and Irma, the category 4 hurricanes devastated the Texas, Florida, and Caribbean coasts. Many people were left homeless with nowhere to turn.

Sophomore Joselyn Busato, along with other Southmoreland students, decided to do something to help the efforts taking place on the coasts.

Busato and her friends created a project called “Helping Hands for Houston,” where they will be selling cookies and offering donations during the homecoming football game.

“All our proceeds will go to those affected in Houston,” Busato said. “Not a lot of people know about (our project), so we want to try to get the word out.”

These Southmoreland students got the idea for “Helping Hands” from a successful fundraiser students held last year at a home football game. Students sold cupcakes to raise money for local flood victims living in Connellsville who faced devastation after a large and very steady downpour last August.

“I think that volunteering is crucial for events like this and just in general. The more people that help and know about it, the more money we can raise,” Busato said. “It’s so scary to think about what’s going on in Texas, Florida, and Barbados. The more volunteers we have, the more of an impact we can make to help.”

Southmoreland High School English teacher Mrs. Jenna Hixson often tries to get involved with service projects within the district.

“I just love getting involved, and I really want to help with this fundraiser,” Mrs. Hixson said. “We’re going to donate to an organization that gives 100% of the profits to people affected.”

Southmoreland Primary Center students are involved by coloring papers that have a hand on them that they can decorate.  They will then be put into a contest during the game and their papers will be displayed.

The students will also be offering donations Sept. 14 and 15 during all three lunches. After they donate, students’ names will be put on paper hands and displayed.

A fellow student organized program named “The Cookie Crusaders,” who donate cookies to those in need throughout the community, will also be helping to make cookies for the event on Friday.

Other students who are involved include sophomore Shelbie Baker, Elle Kenney, Marissa Hribal, and Mrs. Elizabeth Goodman’s art classes.

“Any amount of money donated is a big help,” Busato said.

The fundraiser hopes to raise around $500 to donate towards the relief for hurricane victims. The event will take place September 15th at the Southmoreland Football Stadium during the homecoming game.

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