Hurricane Harvey hits close to home for Yurachek


Danite Belay, Reporter

With the first football game of the season approaching, Marshall University tight end Ryan Yurachek did not expect to have any thoughts on his mind other than getting ready to play the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Saturday. This was until catastrophic flooding and devastating weather from Hurricane Harvey took over Houston, Texas and surrounding areas, leaving thousands with no homes, no food and nowhere to go.

Friendswood, Texas, the town where Yurachek’s family currently lives, was one of the many areas hit by Harvey earlier this week. After talking on the phone with his parents, Yurachek said he knew there had to be some way he could help. Yurachek said speaking with his parents about the damage and how they were rescuing people from their houses and helping people move from retirement homes made his desire to help much stronger.

“I just wanted to find a way to help out,” Yurachek said. “Being 20 hours away, there’s not a whole lot you can do from a physical stand point.”

Yurachek took matters into his own hands that day and began a GoFundMe account to raise money for the flood relief in the town of Friendswood. Yurachek said the outpour of support he has received has been much more than expected.

“I thought that I could try to figure out a way to help out there, and fundraising is what I stumbled upon,” Yurachek said. “It’s worked out great. We’ve raised over $2,200 in less than the first 24 hours, so it’s something that’s going to make a huge impact.”

Because of the flood, Yurachek said he thought that people in Huntington especially would understand what the people in Texas are going through and would really be able to help.

“Not only people from here are donating, but there’s even some who have no relation to Houston, no relation to Marshall, that just wanted to help out by donating,” Yurachek said.

The campaign has raised over $6,000 in just three days. Yurachek said he began the fundraiser with a goal of only $1,000, so the money raised is going to make a huge impact.

Hunter Yurachek, Ryan’s father, said he has never been more proud of his son than when he saw this initiative.

“It’s awesome,” Ryan Yurachek said. “People are grateful for what I’m doing and for what people here in Huntington are doing. It’s working out great for sure.”

Yurachek said he plans to make the donation personally to the LightHouse Charity, a non-profit organization that provides food and other supplies to all of the shelters. The fundraiser will last until Sept. 3.

Danite Belay can be contacted at [email protected]