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Howard-Bostic, Copney lead effort beginning October 30 to help Houston hurricane victims

ISSUED: 26 October 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Students at a Houston elementary school impacted by Hurricane Harvey will benefit from service activities sponsored by Shepherd University’s Department of Sociology and Geography and TRiO Support Services, which have partnered with a school in Berkeley County and the CE King Rebuild Relief Group in Houston to support the city’s Royalwood Elementary School. The WV We Care: Move Hearts and Hands project will raise money and provide snacks for Royalwood students whose school day has been extended to make up for days missed because of the hurricane.

“For the past four years, the sociology and geography department has supported fundraisers, especially those aimed at meeting nutrition standards in school systems in Berkeley and Jefferson counties and the soup kitchen at Immanuel’s House,” said Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, department chair. “This year, we have extended our services to provide state and global support. WV We Care and CE King is a partnership with a nonprofit organization outside of the state. We look forward to continuing our effort supporting healthy lifestyles around the world.”

“TRiO Student Support Services program hosts fundraisers each year to support an emergency fund for Shepherd students,” said Cynthia Copney, director of TRiO programs. “This year we decided to give back by helping others in need and agreed that this is a very worthy cause. We are glad to do our part to make it easier for students impacted by Hurricane Harvey to achieve their academic goals.

From Monday, October 30-Friday, November 10, students at Tomahawk Intermediate School in Hedgesville, led by members of Girl Scout Troop 40160, will collect food from 27 homerooms in their effort to achieve the Bronze Award, the highest award granted to a Junior Scout.

“Our students are excited to assist with donating to this great cause,” said Paul Tyson, Tomahawk principal. “By donating snacks, students learn to be thoughtful of the needs of others, to give, and to serve even though we are many miles apart from the receiving school. Our school recently read a campus-wide book ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’ which encourages expressing kindness toward others, and this service activity is a perfect opportunity to experience this behavior.”

The scouts will also work with local businesses to gather baskets for a raffle at a fundraising dance party that will take place on Friday, November 3, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Shepherd’s Wellness Center. The dance party, which will include Zumba, Dancethology, and Bang Power Dance, is open to the public for an admission of $10 per person.

Other collaborators in the WV We Care project are Elmer Dejesus from Amada Senior Care, Asbury United Methodist Church, and the Shepherd Sociology and Criminology Club.

“I am beyond grateful to be part of such a wonderful program that is not only helping children in our community perform a service project, but is also helping children in other communities around the country,” said Brooke Sowers, a sociology major from Winchester, Virginia, and Sociology and Criminology Club vice president. “The club is honored to be able to help ensure that each child is getting the proper nutrition while at school so that the children and the teachers can focus more on their education. We look forward to being part of more programs that support healthy lifestyles in the future.”

For more information about the project, contact Howard-Bostic at

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