Harlingen college collects donations to aid sister campus near West explosion

Adam Hutchison

A tractor-trailer is slowly filling up with much-needed donations to aid victims in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion.

It's part of the TSTC Cares Donation Drive in Harlingen which joins other sister campuses statewide by collecting sports drinks, bottled water, toiletries, diapers and medical supplies in need.

Their campus in Waco serves as a staging ground for victims left without a home in nearby West.

The TSTC Waco family has opened their field house and gymnasium to serve as a homeless shelter for those people who are displaced," Adam Hutchison, college provost said. "We are providing some of these necessary items to them as well as they rebuild their lives."

Students have been responding to the call for action.

Anthony Lugo, with the aviation maintenance club, says his fellow students in the club used money raised at Texas Air Fiesta to purchase supplies in need.

The money was supposed to be used to help the seniors find a job after school.

"The field trip is out the window now but that doesn't matter so we can help out our fellow sister campus in Waco," he said. "That means more than going on any kind of field trip for us."

Action 4 is partnering up with TSTC Cares by setting up a secondary donation drop off site at the Pappadeaux's restaurant next to the news station's Pharr bureau.

The collection will continue on Saturday at TSTC's Service Support Center Building from 8 am to 12 pm and then again on Monday-Wednesday from 8 am to 6 pm.

Hutchison says the best way to help families with rebuilding is by providing the flexibility for them to get the things they need.

"Things like gift cards from Wal-Mart, HEB, Target... places where they can shop easily are really appreciated," he explained.

More than 55 TSTC employees call the Texas town of West home.

None of them were injured in the blast but all have been directly impacted, according to Hutchison.

And while Hutchison said the donations will assist them, he adds TSTC Cares is for all the victims whose lives have been turned upside down.

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