The massive flooding that has plagued the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey has left thousands without food, water, shelter and other basic necessities for life.
Kelvin Sampson, the University of Houston men’s basketball coach, and his son, Kellen, came up with an idea to start a clothing drive.
“I have had so many of my friends in the coaching profession text and call offering prayers and thoughts for all Houstonians. They all ask what can we do to help,” Sampson tweeted. “Well, I came up with something I think coaches at all levels can help with. If you can, please send 20 of your schools t-shirts and 10 pair of shoes.”
Elizabethtown boys basketball coach Rocky Parise said that the tweet was going viral in the coaching community and he decided to get involved. He contacted Lee Eckert, one of Elizabethtown’s assistant coaches, and Eckert agreed that it was a great idea. He offered to organize the event, but Parise said it came together so quickly that there was no need.
“It just makes sense. Our part isn’t a huge undertaking, but imagine if every high school team or even half of them, in the country, would do something like this? It’s a great example for the kids to see how they can make a difference and the power of numbers. I think this drive is going to be really big,” Parise said.
Yahoo Sports reported Sampson and the university have been promised packages from more than 450 schools, businesses and organizations from all of the lower 48 states.
Parise rounded up the Elizabethtown shirts on Wednesday, Aug. 30, and the shirts and shoes were mailed a day later.
“I know we had some extra shirts laying around and knew it would be easy to get the kids to bring some items in as well,” Parise said. “I have really been pushing an unselfish mindset with our players and trying to make them see that life isn’t all about them. This is actually putting actions to those words. Doing something for someone else.”
In total, the team donated 27 shirts and 10 pair of shoes.
“The goal of this is to raise thoughts and prayers to the people suffering in Texas. Even better, having more people do something small for the people in Texas and realize that it could make a big difference.”