Courtesy of Karen Trask

September 7, 2017

Cornellian Leads Hurricane Harvey Relief Project in Ithaca

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Cornell University and the Ithaca community at large are teaming up to assist with the ongoing relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey by sending two fourteen-feet-long tractor trailers of supplies to Houston this weekend.

Karen Trask, campus meal plan coordinator, began the relief project with Kent Tryon, owner of Tryon Transfer Trucking company. Since then, Trask and Tryon have partnered with United Way of Tompkins County, Page Transportation Trucking, Express Trailer Sales and KT Construction, which are all providing help such as pick-up trucks at donation sites, contacts in Houston, funds for fuel and labor on the trip.

The team is collecting “snack items, personal hygiene items, bottled water, diapers and cleaning supplies,” among other things, to send to individuals affected by Harvey.

“Currently we have collected 18 pallets [of supplies] from Cortland,” Trask said.  “We also have some donations coming in from Cayuga Medical Center, Trumbulls Corners Community Church and some private individuals that can’t make it to the collection locations.”

Items will be collected at various locations across Tompkins County this Friday and Saturday, including Cornell’s CC Lot on North Campus on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

However, although Trask and the companies have the infrastructure to take the supplies down to Houston, they are still “looking for students to help with loading these trailers with donations,” Trask said.

This will be Trask’s first involvement in a relief effort, although as a veteran she “takes part in many volunteer activities.”

“I can’t always offer what different people need, but usually can come up with a plan as to how to get them what they need,” she said. “A warehouse in Houston will be accepting these donations [on Sept. 13] and distributing them to individuals as needed.”