Young Saudis at the Forefront of Hurricane Harvey Relief

“Many heroes were born out of Harvey — dozens, hundreds or perhaps even more. We know some of them. There are many more we may never hear about. They know who they are, as do the people whose lives they saved.” — Arab News.

As Hurricane Harvey barreled into Texas in late August, people around the country watched in awe as buildings crumbled and cars washed away. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall at around 10 p.m.  on Aug. 25 about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

Local Texas and national U.S. relief efforts spearheaded relief efforts in the aftermath of the storm. And among them, young Saudi students staked their spot at the frontline in serving a community struck by disaster.

Helping out, Hand-by-Hand

Amidst the uncertainty that followed the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, Al-Arabiya reported that a sense of hope and community developed as well. While some worked to save stranded animals and others rescued mothers in labor, a group of Saudi Arabia’s teen caught the eyes of the media. The group worked for a non-profit organization Hand-by-Hand who zeroed attention on providing aid aid and relief to Hurricane Harvey survivors.

The group of Saudi youth spent their volunteer hours handing out food packages, cleaning out flooded homes and helping to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the storm. Guided by the Hand-by-Hand motto, “to carry out volunteering work in organized ways and promote it among the different sectors of society,” the Saudi youth volunteers distributed 300,000 food rations that were donated by Saudi Aramco in the storm’s aftermath.

Saudi Arabia Extends Support from all Angles

These youths were not the only Saudi nationals to support the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, according to Asharq Al-Awsat. The Saudi Embassy in Washington announced that “Riyadh is prepared to stand side by side with the United States in wake of Storm Harvey.” Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States, telephoned Texas Governor Greg Abbott to share the Kingdom’s support through this tumultuous time of rebuilding the state.

Read more at Al Arabiya.