Law students raise $10,000 for Houston hurricane relief

Second-year law students Taylor Smith (left) and John Tipton (right) organized a school supply drive to benefit the Houston Independent School District as a way to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Photo by Dana Wilson.

Law students John Tipton and Taylor Smith joke at times about trying to survive law school day-to-day.

But when Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas at the end of August, displacing thousands and leaving a path of destruction in its wake, the two classmates — who are both second-year law students— realized their own law school-related stressors seemed trivial in comparison to the devastation in Houston and others areas recently ravaged by floodwaters.

After seeing news reports, the students wanted to find a way to help. So earlier this month they launched a school supply drive dubbed “Student to Student.” They asked their peers to donate used and new backpacks and other school supplies to hurricane relief efforts and also collected monetary donations.

The effort resonated with fellow law students and the S.J. Quinney College of Law community. In just over two weeks, the students raised $10,000 along with dozens of backpacks and other school supplies desperately needed by families and schools in Texas.

This week, they will send the school supplies and a check to the Houston Independent School District on behalf of the law school community, where those recovering from the disaster will benefit from the donations.

“We wanted to find a way to take our mind off of law school and to help others,” said Tipton, who sought out a Houston school district in need.