UT Austin, Texas A&M create fundraising challenge to help students affected by winter storms

AUSTIN (KXAN) – UT Austin and Texas A&M students were among the millions across the state who were hit by last week’s massive winter storms.

Many of these students had to worry about paying bills and figuring out how to fix damage to their home. In response, the student leaders at both universities decided to find a way to help through a competitive fundraiser.

Contributions go to schools’ emergency funds, which help students replace food that may have gone bad from power outages, and personal items and school supplies that may have been damaged by the storm.

The campaign started after UT Student Government President Anagha Kikkeri and Texas A&M Student Union President Eric Mendoza discussed the impact of the storm. Mendoza said both Longhorns and Aggies were badly affected by the frost that hit the region.

“We want the students to be able to concentrate on what they are here for – the school,” said Mendoza. “Distractions that are beyond their control, like this winter storm, make this difficult, especially when the effects are financial.”

Both universities faced similar challenges, including power outages, dry taps, and burst pipes in apartment complexes across the state.

Mendoza said power outages caused A&M students to gradually charge their phones to keep them connected to the family. While in Austin, Kikkeri said the icy road conditions prevented students from leaving their homes for warmth or running water.

“Some students got hungry because they didn’t have access to food,” she said. “It was a very intense situation.”

The 12-day crowdfunding campaign ends on Wednesday March 10th. In the spirit of friendly competition, the school that raises the most money for needy Texan students will be announced at the rivals baseball game on March 30th.

You can find donations for the Longhorn’s “Texas Tough” campaign on their hornraiser. While the Aggies can donate to the “Maroon and Orange” fundraising campaign through Spirit of Giving.

Students looking for help due to the winter storms can apply online.

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