Friends and partners,
Like many of you, I have been consumed by the images, stories and destruction of Hurricane Harvey. It is heartbreaking. We at OneGoal – like others – are still in the very earliest stages of managing through this crisis and understanding the ramifications that Harvey will have on our young people and communities, including the more than 2,000 Fellows, teachers and 37 school partners we work with in Houston. Hurricane Harvey made landfall just as Fellows and alumni were preparing to head back to campus as high school and college students. It has displaced Fellows and their families, destroyed homes, shut down schools and impeded postsecondary planning. There is no question, the impact will be far-reaching and long-lasting. Our Houston staff members are safe and are working round the clock with our Program Directors to connect with every Fellow to understand each individual circumstance and to assess the extent of the damage.
The courage and generosity of the OneGoal family has been deeply moving. In just the past 24 hours, I have been struck by the frequency at which someone from the OneGoal community has reached out to see how they can help and support our young people and team. We have been working alongside our leaders in Houston to best respond to that call and wanted to share two appeals today with you.
First, there are some remarkable local organizations identified by our Houston team that continue to be critical first-responders offering food and shelter at scale. We are encouraging friends to consider supporting Greater Houston Community Foundation, the United Way Houston, and the Houston Food Bank.
We also have to keep our sights towards the long-term implications of this disaster. The harsh reality in America is that young people growing up in poverty have seemingly countless obstacles that prevent them from reaching their postsecondary ambitions. Now in Houston, our Fellows and alumni face an additional massive set of challenges created in the wake of Harvey – and many need our help.
In response to this reality, we are establishing an emergency relief fund to provide direct, immediate support to Fellows and alumni in Houston who need it. We are calling on our partners and friends to consider a one-time gift to build up this emergency fund for our Fellows and alumni in Houston to ensure that in the aftermath of Harvey, thousands of young people are still able to continue on the road toward their postsecondary aspiration.
Thank you for your generosity and love during this difficult time.
Co-Founder + CEO