How to support natural disaster victims

The news over the last three months has been filled with a shocking series of natural disasters.

The toll is staggering, with earthquakes, multiple hurricanes and wildfires creating destruction from the Caribbean and Puerto Rico to the continental United States, and from Mexico to China and beyond. While Temple has not been the site of these disasters, members of our community have struggled with the calamities that have struck their family, friends and loved ones back home.

I’m pleased to note that Temple’s community has pulled together in many ways in light of these emergencies. For example, I’m sure you’ve all read about the drastic need for medical aid in Puerto Rico. In response, doctors at our Lewis Katz School of Medicine have been gathering supplies and other support to be sent for those who are sick and injured.

I’ve been asked what we can do for those in need. There are many opportunities to help, and here are a few with a Temple focus.

  • Host a student who won’t be able to return home for Thanksgiving because of conditions there. Temple's Office of International Affairs is expanding its existing program this year so that those from the affected areas won’t be alone on Thanksgiving. Apply to host here.
  • The men’s basketball team will play an exhibition game against Jefferson (Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Liacouras Center. All ticket sales will be donated to One America Appeal. Buy tickets online or call 215-204-TIXX.
  • Support Temple students whose ability to continue at Temple may be at risk due to upheaval at home by giving to the Temple Student Emergency Aid Fund. These funds will support urgent needs for Temple students. Students who want to be more involved should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs for additional direction.
  • I urge those with emotional health needs to contact Tuttleman Counseling Center. If you know of anyone really hurting, please contact Vice President Theresa Powell or Dean of Students Stephanie Ives.
  • Outside of Temple, there are many opportunities to get involved, including with
    o    American Red Cross,
    o    Direct Relief, and
    o    UNICEF USA's hurricane relief efforts for Puerto Rico.

Finally, it's comforting to know that so many members of the Temple community are actively engaged and keeping the victims of these disasters in their thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for all you do for Temple and all you do for those in need around the world.

Richard M. Englert