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Earlier this semester, I wrote to the community when Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding to Houston, Texas; and I noted that families and friends of students as well as alumni and others close to the College had been impacted. In addition, I shared information about giving options for those inclined to support the rescue and relief efforts.
Natural disasters have now also struck Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico — areas of the world to which members of the Lycoming family also have strong ties. Hurricane Irma caused extraordinary damage in Florida and relief efforts will continue for months. Hurricane Maria inflicted massive devastation on the island of Puerto Rico and the situation has become quite desperate for many residents. Finally, both the State of Puebla and Mexico City have suffered massive damage from an earthquake that struck central Mexico two weeks ago. In all three cases, lives have also been lost.
As each disaster has occurred, Student Life and Academic Services have focused on making contact with and offering support to students who come from or have family in the affected regions. After the Mexican earthquake, we also made contact with alumnus and former Governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle ’91 ’H16. He reported that his family and friends are fine, although the State of Puebla has suffered severe damage and he is filled with sorrow because of many lost lives. Director of Admissions Jessica Quintana Hess has family in Puerto Rico and has shared that that given the circumstances, all are well. She also noted that faith and fortitude that will be required during the coming months of reconstruction.
As with Hurricane Harvey, I have been asked how one can best contribute to the rescue, relief and reconstruction efforts. As is customary, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance has published advice on the best giving options. See the following.
Our contacts in Puebla have advised us that the Red Cross is the most reliable option in terms of ensuring that the funds get to those most in need. In addition, I note that Professor Adams is involved with a local benefit for Puerto Rico.
Please join me in keeping all those in the affected regions in your thoughts and prayers.