Hurricane Harvey drive building community in the Valley and across state lines

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The ASU Police Department’s Hurricane Harvey drive started with one officer’s question about what he could do to help.

ASU police officer Giovanni Cassano approached police information officer Katy Harris shortly after Hurricane Harvey devastated southeast Texas. Together they created a donation drive for victims of the Category 4 hurricane.

The ASU Police Department is asking local residents to donate a variety of items that range from clothing to hygiene products to one of their four police locations at the campuses. They are partnering with the Scottsdale company, Stream Logistics, to take donation items to Rockport, Texas.

Rockport is a town of almost 9,000 people that was hit by the eye of the hurricane.

“We felt like rightfully so Houston was getting a ton of media coverage because so many people were affected, but we also felt we couldn’t forget the small towns. We just wanted to make sure they weren’t overlooked,” Katy Harris said.

Since starting the donation drive, Harris has seen great success from members of the local community. What started out as a few bags of baby booties, food and sippy cups from Officer Cassano quickly became a room full of donations. At that point, Stream Logistics, a Scottsdale boutique logistics company, reached out via Twitter to help with the project.

Stream Logistics’ CEO Carson Holmquist said his company is very community and civic-oriented. They wanted to do their part to help in this expansive project.

“I thought it was obviously great effort, and we wanted to use our expertise to help, so instead of donating money or resources, which a lot of people are doing, which is amazing, we wanted to help coordinate that, the actual delivery,” Holmquist said.

Holmquist and his staff members had another connection to the drive—their ASU alma mater. Over half of Stream Logistics’ staff, including Holmquist, were alumni of ASU.

“The majority of their employees are ASU grads, so I think there was just a natural partnership there,” Harris said.

Other ASU organizations offered their support to the projects. The ASU Alumni Association donated office supplies including a big box full of binders. Other community members have been dropping off clothing, cleaning supplies, diapers and a wide range of other items that have filled up the Tempe campus police station’s back room.

“There was a pretty strong community response because I think that we are so far away from it that you almost feel helpless,” Harris said.

And communities outside of the Valley have also offered their support to this project. ASU police department reached out to the police station in Gulport, Mississippi, a city that was adopting Rockport, to ask for their help. Gulport, which was affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, offered a police escort for Stream Logistics when they transport the donations to Rockport.

“It’s just great to see communities outside of Texas recognizing the need and coordinating and donating time and effort towards these types of events,” Holmquist said. “Anything we can do to be a part of it, we were happy to do.”

The ASU Hurricane Harvey drive goes until the end of September. Donations can be dropped off at any of the four police station departments at ASU campuses.

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