Scarborough at center of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Nearly one hundred pounds of cross-country disaster relief packages arrived at Houston’s Hambrick Middle School on Friday, Oct. 13. The packages were sent by Scarborough students to assist Hambrick Middle School students whose homes were destroyed by the winds and floods of Hurricane Harvey.

Backpacks, essential home and school needs filled box after box in Scarborough’s middle schools, over the last few weeks. It was all part of an effort initiated by 1995 Scarborough graduate and now assistant principal at Hambrick, John Morse.

Morse reached out to his alma mater not long after the storm passed with the relief proposal after seeing how many students in his Texas school were impacted, including many students who have not yet even returned to school and who may have been displaced entirely from other communities.

 “Hundreds of our students so clearly needed help.  They’re having to completely start over.  I saw this as an opportunity for our students to see the broader picture of a community – that it isn’t necessarily their own school and next door neighbors.  Now they can learn that a “community” can reach entirely across the country, to complete strangers,” Morse said.

 Scarborough Middle School Principal Diane Nadeau felt the same learning benefit would serve their students.  “This effort gives our students a chance to see that their community support doesn’t have to stay in this town, and that the hurricane disaster isn’t just a news story.  It’s a real story that impacted real students just like them, 2,600 miles away”, said the Scarborough principal who headed the effort on this side of the country.

Local companies got involved:  insurance corporate supporter UNUM organized an employee donation drive; The UPS Store in Scarborough provided shipping logistics and packaging; Beech Ridge Motor Speedway funded the cross-country transportation. 

 “The town of Scarborough is dear to this speedway and our family.  Whenever we can, we support this community,” Beech Ridge Motor Speedway CEO and Scarborough graduate Andy Cusack said.  “We know that school budgets are tight everywhere, and this joint effort between two school systems was going to need financial support in order to tie it all together and get it to Houston when the donation drives were done.”