This past Wednesday, Georgetown students and faculty gathered at the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, praying for and remembering those affected by the destruction in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey over the last week.
Thoughts and prayers are not everything being sent from the Hilltop to Houston, however, as men’s basketball Head Coach Patrick Ewing (COL ’85) and his staff prepare to send Hoya T-shirts and shoes as a small form of relief to the victims.
The department is currently still in the process of assembling a care package of shirts and shoes to send down to Houston.
Hurricane Harvey’s death toll has surpassed 35 people while 32,000 people are displaced in a total of 230 Red Cross shelters and affiliates across Texas. Corporate company donations for hurricane relief from companies such as Google and Verizon have climbed passed $65 million.
Ewing’s initiative responded to a call for help posted Tuesday to Twitter by the University of Houston’s men’s basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson.
“I have had so many of my friends in the coaching profession text and call offering prayers and thoughts for all Houstonians. They all ask what we can do to help,” Sampson said in the tweet. “Well, I came up with something I think coaches at all levels can help with. … If you can, please send 20 of your schools T-shirts and 10 pairs of shoes to [the University of Houston].”
Georgetown basketball responded swiftly to Sampson’s plea.
“We saw coach Sampson’s tweet requesting t-shirts and shoes and brought it to Coach Ewing’s attention,” Lori Hamamoto, men’s basketball director of communications, wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Coach Ewing immediately instructed his staff to start putting together some Georgetown gear to send down to Houston.”
Ewing was one of hundreds of coaches who answered Sampson’s call for help.
“It was a powerful thing for Coach Sampson to reach out to the coaching fraternity,” Ewing wrote in an email to The Hoya. “The Georgetown Men’s Basketball program obviously wanted to get involved.”
Ewing is one of many members of the Georgetown community who have ties to Houston and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“I lived in Houston for three years while I was an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets,” Ewing said. “It is heartbreaking to see what is happening to that city. My prayers are with everyone in Texas.”
The men’s basketball’s efforts to aid the victims of Harvey reflect Communications Director Lori Hamamoto’s and the department’s commitment to Georgetown’s Jesuit values and service to others.
“The basketball program has always been community minded and has always been dedicated to giving back,” Hamamoto said.
This past week, the coaching staff and players volunteered their time and served lunch at local D.C non-profit organization SOME (So Others May Eat).
For other members of the Georgetown community looking to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice (CSJ) has set up a humanitarian and disaster relief fund for Houston. Please contact the CSJ or email [email protected] for more information on how you can donate.