VCUPD officers return from relief efforts in Houston

Photo courtesy of VCU PD.
Photo courtesy of VCU PD.

Three VCU police officers travelled to Houston to help with the rescue efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey last week.

Officers Chris Kesler, Andrew Riggot and Chris Finch returned from their four-day relief effort last week. They partnered with Remote Area Medical and conducted search and rescue missions.

Since the officers travelled on their own dime, Kesler set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs.

“After watching Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and seeing the devastation it has caused, I decided to do something about it,” read the page.

Donations went directly to supplies, gas and food. Any leftover money was donated to RAM. The GoFundMe surpassed its $5,000 goal by $700 a little more than a week of its launch.

“We routinely encourage officers and staff to be involved in community service and outreach,” said VCU Police Chief John Venuti in a statement. “Those of us at VCU gladly contributed personal donations to the officers’ fundraising efforts because we know the people of Houston have an immediate and serious need for help. Our officers really stepped up and took the initiative to find where their time could best be spent helping others in crisis.”

Accompanying efforts were made in the city to send support to those affected by flooding in Texas.

The Richmond Flying Squirrels, VCU, WTVR and Hilldrup Moving and Storage teamed up to raise money and collect donations at The Diamond. The team was able to fill three tractor-trailers with supplies for the victims of the hurricane.

Rams coach Mike Rhoades, a former Houston resident, was also at the Diamond to help with fundraising efforts.

“I know RVA will once again come through for those that need our help,” Rhoades said in an interview with WTVR. “We need you to contribute and assist all those in the Houston-area who were decimated by this terrible storm. This initiative will directly make it better for those that need it.”

St. Edward-Epiphany Catholic School in Chesterfield continues to raise funds to help their counterparts such as True Cross Catholic School located in Dickinson, Texas, which suffered from severe flood damage.

Mt. Gilead Full Gospel International Church in Chesterfield also took a truck of supplies as well as boats to assist in the rescue efforts.


marylee clark. photo by sarah kingMary Lee Clark
Mary Lee is a senior studying journalism. She currently interns for RVAmag and, in addition to writing for the CT. She previously worked as a makeup artist at Darkwood Manor, did lighting design at Trackside Theater (where she is now on the Board of Directors) and photographed for the Page News and Courier.
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