Helping those in need

“Del Mar Students Volunteering in Harvey’s Wake”

It’s been over a month since Hurricane Harvey made landfall just north of the city, in the nearby town of Rockport. And for many Del Mar students, it’s been a month full of volunteering.

Some students were directly affected by the storm, and several others know of people who are still dealing with its aftermath. Whether it’s with their school club, church organization or even with the Red Cross, volunteers have been helping the victims with the recovery process.

Sandy Riggs, a biology teacher at Collegiate High School and a resident of Aransas Pass, has seen her fair share of storm damage in and around her hometown.

“On the other side of the bay, you have an apocalypse — (about 70 percent) of Aransas Pass took damage,” Riggs said. “They need to make a point to (the people in Corpus Christi) that they need help … the volunteering cannot stop.”

Riggs also advises the school’s robotics league, known as “Droid Rage.” In September, the group held a volunteer event in which they helped to clean up certain parts of Aransas Pass. Janie Ramirez was one of the students who helped to get the word out about the cleanup activity.

“For our first Harvey cleanup project, we went out to Aransas Pass to clean up (debris from a crumbling building, as well as fallen branches at) the Artist’s Cove Gallery,” Ramirez said. “The turnout (was) amazing … and even though it’s been a month (since) the hurricane hit, the aftermath is still something you can see as you drive around the town.”

Ramirez also spoke about Riggs’ situation.

“Since our mentor and teacher, Ms. Riggs, does live in Aransas Pass, it really does hit home for all of us,” she said. “Seeing kids as young as us being able to come together to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey has been something really inspiring to all of ‘Droid Rage.’ ”

Outside of Collegiate, there are many students on the college side of Del Mar who have participated in several service opportunities. Ryan Osborne, who is planning on majoring in liberal arts, has been actively engaged in cleanup efforts, along with some of the members of his church, and has attended a service activity nearly every Saturday for the past month.

“I’ve been very grateful to be able to help out,” Osborne said. “As a community, that’s what we do — we help our fellow members out and together, we can do great things.”

His older brother, Adam, has also been helping out a lot, mainly with mucking out houses and moving trees and brush.

“It’s a lot of work and it’s extremely exhausting,” Adam said. “But whenever you put yourself aside and focus on the people, none of that other stuff matters — it’s all about helping those in need.”

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