Hurricane Harvey: Briarwood Students Share Stories and Perspectives
When The Briarwood School opened on Aug. 16, no one expected the disaster of Hurricane Harvey. Our hearts went out to the people who lost family and friends, and to those who lost their homes. Our faculty and students acted. Administrators called to check in with parents. Homeroom teachers stayed in close contact with their students. Coaches called and texted players. The Head of School, Mrs. Wills, made personal phone calls to a number of students. Students also went into action.
Kris DeWitt, a Briarwood senior, splashed through the water finding places where help was needed most. He talked to a neighbor whose parents were stuck inside their house unable to get through the high waters. Kris struggled through the floodwaters and found a boat in order to reach them. Once inside their house, he found the couple scrambling to get to higher ground. He helped them gather clothes and personal belongings and escorted them to the boat waiting outside.
Other students went out of their way to help. Cole Johnson, Cody Hundley and Henry Bean, all seniors, helped pack and move a Briarwood teacher who was forced to leave her apartment because of water. They loaded furniture and mattresses, saved paintings, packed clothes, and transported it all to her new home.
Younger Briarwood students did their part as well. Samuel Hume helped by taking in a family who had water damage to their house. Avery Flusche went to a friend’s house to help take out carpet, drywall and bottom shelves ruined by water. Olivia Trulock volunteered at her local church, donating her Xbox, bedding, books and blankets. “I also gave my time at PetSmart, cleaning dogs and putting them in kennels. I gave them food and made sure they got help from vets if they needed it,” she said. Lucas Blocher, a 10th grader, helped make care packages at his church. Leah Lewis, a junior, washed damaged, water-stained clothes for friends.
Kris DeWitt summed up the feeling that many students and faculty experienced. “I was grateful that I wasn’t affected by the storm, but I was filled with some guilt. Mostly, I was filled with sadness for those in my neighborhood and throughout Houston who were not as lucky as I.” When times get tough and people are in need, the students of Briarwood step up because we are Houston, and we are strong.
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