After February’s “Winter Storm Uri” swept across North America, the state of Texas saw some of the worst effects of the storm. With record-breaking temperatures and never-before-seen snowfall, Uri left millions of Texans without power, heat, and water for days.
Oglethorpe’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (SAE) President Azaan Subhani ’21 and Vice President Morgan Rosberg ’23 stepped up for the storm victims by raising money for food and water donations—and then went to Texas to help distribute them.
“We care deeply about our fellow Americans. I remember being at home, and some of my family from Texas were terrified,” Subhani explained. “I called Morgan right away, and we planned the whole trip in an hour.”
With the help of the SAE National Alumni Foundation, OU’s Georgia ETA Chapter of SAE raised a total of $3,400, which fed more than 5,000 people in Texas. The philanthropy efforts and volunteer trip were sponsored by Subhani’s nonprofit Subhani Foundation, along with his company Marlin Strafe Consulting.
“After hearing about the entire area of Dallas going through rolling blackouts, having burst pipes and no clean water, and icy roads causing many horrific accidents, I felt compelled to do what I could to help,” Rosberg said.
From February 24 to March 1, Subhani and Rosberg traveled around Texas to volunteer in Plano, Farmville, Fort Worth, and Dallas. While volunteering, both students continued to attend virtual classes and work from their hotel and warehouse break rooms.
On the first day of their trip, the students assisted the North Texas Food Bank by packing food meals and moving crates of supplies for storm victims. The next day, they personally delivered the food boxes with the help of a Farmerville, Texas mobile food bank.
“One of the main things I learned from volunteering at the North Texas food bank was how strong their cities sense of community and family was,” said Rosberg. “I volunteered with over 100 other volunteers from all over the world.”
“My favorite part of the trip was seeing how North Texas Foodbank was giving back in a creative way. They had people from all over the region constantly donating handcrafted bowls for each care package.”
“Everyone at the food bank were the nicest people I have ever met,” Subhani said about the experience. “Everyone cared so much about giving back.”
When the two Business Administration majors had a day off from volunteering, they spent the afternoon purchasing socks, food, water, and clothes. They passed out 30 kits of these supplies to houseless people in Fort Worth.
On their last full day, Rosenberg and Subhani sponsored a breakfast and dinner at The Stewpot homeless shelter in Dallas.
“It was an amazing experience as we got to meet and feed thousands of people. We even got to cook the food ourselves,” Subhani said about the opportunity.
When asked what he took away from their volunteer efforts, Subhani said, “It should be our civic duty to help our community. The whole trip changed my perspective about the socioeconomic gap.”
“Brookhaven has a homeless population, too, and I want to help,” he said, referencing the city where Oglethorpe is located. “Until every single person in Buckhead and Brookhaven is healthy and has a place to rest and eat, I will not stop helping. The Subhani fund has set a goal to donate $25,000 to the homeless population of Brookhaven in the next 12 months.”