Donations to be Delivered Aboard SUNY Maritime College's Empire State VI to Texas
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State University of New York will host a statewide collection drive online and at SUNY Plaza in Albany to aid in relief and recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. Cash donations will be converted into needed supplies and delivered to Texas aboard SUNY Maritime's training vessel, the Empire State VI.
"New Yorkers know firsthand the devastation that Mother Nature can bring, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey," Governor Cuomo said. "This drive demonstrates our core New York values of neighbors standing with neighbors in need, and I encourage all New Yorkers to donate what they can to help in these recovery efforts."
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "For more than a week now, we have seen the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continue to take its toll on Southeast Texas. We have kept in our thoughts and prayers a city whose infrastructure has been devastatingly compromised and whose residents have experienced terrible loss. We have also seen our nation at its best, as communities across the country have come together to offer their support. With the Empire State VI heading to Beaumont next weekend, SUNY has a new opportunity to contribute as well. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his support, and to President Alfultis and the Maritime community for leading this relief effort on SUNY's behalf."
Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of SUNY Maritime said, "Harvey's scale and impact has been far-reaching and we, as a college, are hopeful that the arrival of the Empire State VI and these donated items will help in the recovery efforts that will take many months to complete. We are glad to support the recovery efforts in any way we can."
Students, families, local organizations, and community groups across New York are invited to make monetary donations Tuesday, Sept. 5 - Thursday Sept. 7 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. at SUNY Plaza or contribute to the drive online. SUNY Maritime is working with organizations including the Grace Community Baptist Church, Hillcrest Baptist Church, and the Islamic Society of Triplex to provide needed supplies such as water, towels, linens, canned goods, diapers, and cleaning supplies.
SUNY System volunteers will use all monetary donations to purchase, package, and ship needed supplies to Texas aboard the Empire State VI. All donations should be made to the SUNY Impact Foundation for the relief effort as follows:
Online: Visit SUNY Strong for Hurricane Harvey Relief here
In-person: SUNY Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany, New York
SUNY Maritime College's Empire State VI is scheduled to leave for Texas this coming week. The ship will be used to provide housing, power, food and water to first responders, thereby freeing up local hotel resources for displaced individuals. The Empire State VI has berthing for more than 600 people.
The Empire State VI's mission to Texas will last 30 days, with an option for an additional 30 days upon request by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Empire State VI was used to support relief operations for Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The Empire State VI belongs to the Maritime Administration, a branch of the Department of Transportation. Maritime College operates the ship to educate and train young men and women who plan to pursue careers in the commercial shipping industry, and the Empire State VI is the primary platform for the students' hands-on training.