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Columbia Schools Collect Donations for Hurricane Harvey Victims

Hickman High School basketball coach Cray Logan put out a call Tuesday for students to donate team T-shirts to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

By Thursday, more than 200 shirts had been dropped off at the school.

Collecting athletic T-shirts for flood victims, which began this week with a tweet from the University of Houston, has quickly gained steam in Columbia’s middle and high schools.

So far Hickman and Rock Bridge High Schools, Father Tolton Catholic Regional High School and all of Columbia’s middle schools are on board, said Stefan Tippin, basketball coach at South Callaway High School, who’s leading the effort.

“It’s good to get outside of all the school rivalries and put our heads together and work for one good common cause,” Tippin said. “Not everyone can donate money, but we all can give something.”

Each school has donated spirit shirts from different sports and activities throughout the school year, including volleyball, football, student council, senior shirts and those with generic school names and colors.

The effort began with a tweet from the University of Houston men’s head basketball coach Kelvin Sampson on Monday. He asked fellow coaches to donate team shirts and shoes to victims of the hurricane. That was followed by a tweet from Houston head baseball coach Todd Whitting, which brought the Missouri team on board.

Tippin picked up on Sampson’s tweet and put the call out to high school basketball coaches. Tippin was a student in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and said he remembers the storm’s aftermath, which prompted his campaign.

Both Logan and Tippin said they plan to send as many shirts as possible and have even pulled from their athletic reserves to add to the donations. The high schools intend to continue collecting more donations into next week because of the Labor Day holiday. Tolton is planning a clothing and shoe drive for next week, administrative assistant Mary Creach said.

All six Columbia middle schools have scheduled a donation drive from Tuesday to Friday next week for school supplies and monetary donations, said Smithton Middle School Principal Chris Drury. They plan to send the supplies to Houston when those students return to school.

Supervising editor is Taylor Blatchford: news@columbiamissourian.com, 882-7884.