RPI RELIEF - Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

RPI Relief: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, & Maria

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey formed in the Gulf Coast and struck the southeastern coast of Texas, where it stalled and dumped records amount of rain, causing flooding in the entire region, including in Houston, the fourth most populous city in the country. Just two weeks later, Hurricane Irma formed in the Atlantic, and its destructive winds destroyed everything in its path from St. Martin, Barbuda, the US Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Puerto Rico and Cuba before changing course towards Florida. Having regained strength, its destructive winds, rain, and resulting storm surge then cut across the Florida Keys and headed north through the entire state of Florida, and then into Georgia and South Carolina.

The following week, the region was spared the hurricane force of Hurricane Jose, which on Wednesday, September 20 was spinning in the Atlantic Ocean 140 miles south of Nantucket Island with tropical force winds. Forming just behind Jose, however, was Hurricane Maria, which has proven to have the most powerful winds on record. Following a similar path as Irma, the clocked 185 mph winds, rain and storm surge are revisiting many of the same islands as Irma did including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, just as Irma touched the entire state of Florida, Maria, a storm twice the size of Puerto Rico spent hours over that island with sustained winds of over 100 mph, dumping over two feet of rain and increasing the threat of landslides throughout and storm surge across the entire territory. By 2 p.m., the entire island of nearly 3.5 million people had lost electricity.

Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall as Category 4 hurricanes. Thanks to lessons learned from previous storms, emergency planning before Harvey and Irma helped to minimize the loss of life in their wake, but the damage caused by their destructive forces will have long-lasting human and economic impacts on the people who live in the impacted communities, as well as all Americans who have relatives living in these areas, and who depend on all the vital goods and resources produced in Texas and Florida. The experience of the Caribbean islands differs in that evacuation is not an easy option in preparation for catastrophic storms. The islands of St. Martin, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and others, and the people who call these islands home will take years to recover from the 2017 hurricanes.

RPI Relief: Harvey, Irma and Maria was mobilized to conduct activities within the Rensselaer Community to raise money in support of organizations working on the ground in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean islands impacted by the storms. Some organizations will be raising money for specific causes noted with their events below. Unrestricted funds raised throughout this campaign will be distributed to American Red Cross and to All Hands Volunteers.

The Rensselaer Community raised a total of $7,682.70 for the RPI Relief designated charities and other organizations as summarized below.

Fundraising Activities and Events


FIJI will be selling their special "Phigammadillas" on Tuesdays beginning 10/10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Sage Concourse. Currently, quesadillas cost $2, and include cheese, salsa, peppers, and grilled chicken. Bottled water will also be sold for $1. All proceeds, including money raised in their canister at the Troy Farmer's Market on 10/7 go to RPI Relief.
Total raised = $170

The Clubhouse Pub

The Clubhouse Pub is collecting donations for hurricane relief during regular business hours and during special events. Your loose change makes a difference!
Total raised = $51.08

Grad Halloween Party

The School of Science Grad Student Council + BME + Chem E + Dean of the Graduate Experience hosted the annual Grad Student Halloween Party on Friday, October 27th at the Fac/Staff Dining Hall at Russell Sage. Guests were treated to pizza, Halloween treats, games, music, a costume contest and karaoke. A suggested donation of $1 for RPI Relief was accepted at the door.
Total raised = $70

Circle K

Join RPI Circle K on Friday, October 27 from 6:30-9:30 PM for their annual haunted house as your worst nightmares become reality. Halloween lovers of all ages will see just how scary college can be, with frightening surprises at every turn that are bound to make you scream! If you are brave enough to face your fears, then join us on this unforgettable twisted journey. Tickets are $6.00 at the door, and all ticket sales will be donated to Unidos por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico).
Total raised = $800


RPI Players will be performing The Art of Talking on Friday, October 27, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 28, at 2 p.m. in Academy Hall Auditorium. All concessions sold during these performances will be donated to RPI Relief.
Total raised = $170.51

Alianza Latina

On Friday, October 13, from 5-7:30 p.m., in honor of the end of Latino Heritage Month, Alianza Latina, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Black Student Alliance, Phi Iota Alpha, Sigma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Residence Life, and RPI Dance Team are hosting a crisis relief fundraiser for the following areas effected by the natural disasters: Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands! These areas have suffered greatly and are in need of resources to ensure their survival. The door fee of $7 in advance, or $9 the day of the event will get you endless dancing, aguas frescas, pernil (pork), chicken enchiladas, beef and veggie patties, rice, beans, polvorones (cookies), salad, pudin de pan, pastelon, fruit platters, and more! The entire door fee raised will be given to Students with Puerto Rico, Mexico Red Cross and USVI Hurricane Recovery. Door tickets will be available at tables in the Union in advance of the event.
Total raised = $950.50 for Students with Puerto Rico, $950.50 for Mexican Red Cross, and $950.50 for USVI Hurricane Recovery

Rensselaer Dining Services

Rensselaer Dining Services presents Stone Steakhouse an "elite event" on Tuesday, September 26, at the Russell Sage Dining Hall. Students with meal plans may swipe at the door and donate $5 to get a 12 ounce steak with all the trimmings. Those without meal plans can pay the $12.30 door rate + $5 for the steak dinner. All $5 donations will go directly to the American Red Cross.
Total raised = $1,515

Rensselaer Community Advocates

Alpha Chi Rho

Cinnabons for Relief! The Community Advocates and Alpha Chi Rho are selling a RPI Relief favorite- hot waffle Cinnabons on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Sept 27-29, at the DCC Great Hall and on Saturday, Sept 30 up at ECAV, from 9 a.m. until 12 noon each day! Each Cinnabon is $2 - get them while they are hot!
Total raised = $176

RPI Tutor Time

RPI Tutor Time will be selling candy bars on Saturdays at their two tutoring locations, at Blitman Hall and at the Lansingburgh Library, and during the week at the office location (Academy Hall 4629). All your favorites, M&M.s Skittles, Reeses, Kit Kats, and more - each for $1!
Total raised to date = $104

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Alpha Phi

Hurricane Relief Bake Sale! Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Phi are having a bake sale Thursday and Friday, October 5th and 6th, at the DCC Great Hall from 10 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. each day! Money raised will support Unidos por Puerto Rico (United for Puerto Rico)
Total raised = $350

The following additional funds were raised during the semester:

RPI Relief meets weekly at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays in Academy Hall 4411 to discuss and develop collaborative efforts in support of this initiative. Everyone is welcome to attend. For information on how to get your relief effort posted, or on programs that are being hosted in support of RPI Relief: Harvey, Irma and Maria, bookmark this website, "like" the RPI Relief Facebook Page, or contact RPI Relief.

Last modified: Dec 15, 2017
Community Service, Phone: (518) 276-3098, Fax: (518) 276-4839