Help & Heroes Come in Many Forms

As an institution, Lamar State College Port Arthur survived Hurricane Harvey with a minimal amount of damage. The school was very fortunate. But for our students, faculty and staff, the devastation was widespread.

During the flood, residents from across the city were evacuated and housed temporarily in the Carl Parker Center, which was set up by the City of Port Arthur as a shelter. As the waters receded in the days following the storm, the campus continued to be used as a place to live for first responders, and displaced faculty and staff.

During the first weeks after the storm, help came in many forms. Aside from city, state and federal first responders, the American Red Cross, FEMA, and local civic and religious groups, assistance came from many different places. Colleges as close as Texas and as far away as Missouri sent care packages to assist in Port Arthur and Southeast Texas recovery efforts.
 
Special thanks to all those who have contributed money, supplies or labor in LSCPA's recovery efforts
Barnes & Noble Bookstore State Fair Community College, Sedalia, Missouri
Alaine LaBauve Advertising & Marketing South Texas Community College, McAllen, Texas
Eddie DeJaynes, Subway Restaurants, Warsaw, Missouri Scholarship America National Disaster Relief Fund
Rep. Dade Phelan & Sen. Brandon Creighton LSCPA Supply Station donors and volunteers
Ron Ditzfeld of Ditzfeld Transfer, Inc., Sedalia, Missouri LSCPA Men's Basketball Team
Work volunteers from LSCPA's faculty and staff Hillcrest Baptist Church Women's Group, Jasper
Inceptia, a division of NSLP Patricia Holmes
Sempra LNG & Midstream Port Arthur Higher Education Foundation
National Council for Marketing & Public Relations McGraw-Hill Education
Facility Programming & Consulting  
 
Students, faculty, staff: NEED HELP? Here are resources to aid in your recovery
HOW CAN FEMA HELP YOU?
Hurricane Harvey Emergency Grant Request Supply Station: Located in the Student Center, Room 111
Call 409-984-6157 for immediate assistance
LSCPA Carpool Registration

State Fair Community College, Sedalia, Mo.

Among the first calls received by LSCPA was the offer of help from State Fair Community College in Missouri. The college, assisted by the students of Smith-Cotton High School, collected 22 pallets full of water, cleaning supplies, bedding, toiletries and various other sundries. That truckload was delivered free of charge thanks to Ron Ditzfeld of Ditzfeld Transfer, Inc.

"We understand the challenges community college students face in pursuing their education and offer encouragement to persist in the face of this disaster," said Dr. Joanna Anderson, president of SFCC. "I am so appreciative of our employees and students, Smith-Cotton High School Student Council and JROTC, and all those who helped fill the truck and support the relief effort. We send our hopes and prayers for your recovery along with the items so generously donated."

A short time after the delivery of the truck full of supplies, the college sent an additional bit of support in the form of Subway gift cards to be distributed to the hardest-hit students, faculty and staff. That donation was made by Eddie DeJaynes of Warsaw, Missouri.
 

Sempra LNG & Midstream joins recovery efforts

Representatives from Sempra LNG
& Midstream visited LSCPA recently to make a donation to the ongoing collection of resources set aside to help students, faculty and staff at
the college to recover from the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Pictured, from left, are Anya McInnis, Sempra Public Affairs Consultant, J.C. Thomas III, Sempra Director of External Affairs, and LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard.

 

Students, faculty & staff help one another

 In the first few days after the flood, members of the student body, faculty and staff came together to help clean water-ravaged homes in preparation for the eventual rebuilding process.

Several of the hardest-hit members of the faculty and staff have taken up residence at Seahawk Landing, giving them the opportunity to live in a safe place while going to work and having repairs done to their homes.

"We are a close-knit community at LSCPA and so it was important that those who were devastated by this storm know that we are here for them," said Dr. Betty Reynard, president of LSCPA. "No one should feel alone in going through an experience like this."
 

South Texas College, McAllen, Texas

   A group from South Texas College delivered a trailer full of supplies to LSCPA, led by Dr. Laura Sanchez, STC's Associate Dean of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. The students helped unload water and other supplies to be used by LSCPA students, faculty and staff. Dr. Ben Stafford of LSCPA accepted the donations on behalf of the college.
 

Boots on the Ground -- Phelan and Creighton

 One of the most important aspects of disaster recovery is having state representatives in the community. Rep. Dade Phelan and Senator Brandon Creighton have been in Port Arthur and the surrounding region making sure residents are receiving all the help possible in the recovery effort.

While in the community, Rep. Dade stopped by the college for a visit with LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard to make sure everything was going smoothly in the post-Harvey recovery.
 

LSCPA makes the national news

 While Hurricane Harvey and its impact on Port Arthur and the rest of Southeast Texas made national headlines, LSCPA was featured in two stories published in nation-wide circulation.

Gerry Dickert, the Public Information Coordinator at LSCPA (pictured above right with his family as they evacuated their Port Arthur home) was invited to write a first-person perspective of the storm, the impact on the community and the immediate aftermath of the unprecedented flooding. His story was published by the College Sports Information Directors of America website (CLICK HERE FOR STORY).

"The opportunity to tell our story on a national stage, from an individual point of view, was important," Dickert said. "It's not enough to sit and watch the weather guys reporting in the gusting winds and rain. For people to really understand what happened here during those awful few days, you have to put a face on the tragedy. I tried to be that face for LSCPA and Port Arthur."

Tevin Baker, a freshman basketball player at LSCPA, was featured in a story in the New York Times. The national publication picked up on several of Baker's messages on the social media outlet Twitter. The messages were heartbreaking as the young man pleaded at 2 a.m. on August 31 for someone to save he and his mother from the flooding that had inundated their home. The two were finally rescued shortly after 7:30 a.m.

"My house just started to flood," he told the newspaper. "We weren't ready at all. It was very horrific for me and my mom."

Read the full account of his experience HERE.