AUSTIN, Texas - Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are holding a fundraising campaign to help aid students experiencing financial hardships following the recent winter storms that impacted the state.
The two universities say that even as water and power are restored, students are still navigating repairs to damaged housing and looming bill payments in the aftermath of the winter storms. Student leaders are looking to help their peers recover from the disaster through a joint fundraising campaign.
Longhorn Nation can donate through the HornRaiser crowdfunding platform, and the Texas A&M community can donate through Spirit of Giving. Donations to "Orange and Maroon: Texas Tough" will provide relief for students affected by the storms, from replacing groceries spoiled by power outages, to replacing personal items and school supplies destroyed by burst pipes, to helping with bills.
The universities say that the campaign was created following discussions between UT Student Government President Anagha Kikkeri and Texas A&M Student Body President Eric Mendoza, who said that Longhorns and Aggies alike were greatly affected by the freeze that swept the region.
"We want the students to be able to focus on what they’re here for — which is school," Mendoza said. "Distractions that are out of their control, like this winter storm, make that hard, especially when the impact is financial."
Donations to the schools’ emergency funds will directly support students through small grants. Even a small contribution can be of great help to students facing unexpected expenses, Mendoza said, whether those are groceries lost during power outages or other weather-related losses.
The 12-day crowdfunding effort will end Wednesday, March 10. In the spirit of friendly competition, the school that raises the most money for Texas students in need will be announced at the March 30 baseball game between the rivals.
"This has probably been the most uniquely challenging year students have faced in a long time," Kikkeri said. "We had so much unrest, so much hurt in the country — it just permeates throughout our lives. The winter storm was another thing added into the mix, and we see a great need for students right now."