What an end of summer we have had as a country. From protests at Charlottesville to the first solar eclipse since 1979 to the tragic devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, it has been an emotional time for many. However, it is times like this that remind us that folks who have nothing in common but a shared love for their fellow humans have the ability to rally and support one another in the most trying times. When tragedy strikes, it is a good feeling to know you have the generous support of family and friends as well as strangers both near and far.

Being a NIRSA member brings with it a sense of family. As a native Houstonian with much of my family there, I have received numerous texts, emails, and calls asking how my family is doing in Houston and letting me know that their prayers are with me.

NIRSA may be vast physically—reaching across the whole country and Canada—but it can also make someone feel as though they are close to everyone in the NIRSA community. To our many institutions in Houston and throughout southeast Texas that are in for some even tougher times ahead, I feel confident saying we—your fellow NIRSA family—are all with you and will definitely keep you in our thoughts and prayers. And as for me, I just want to say thanks to everyone who has reached out, prayed and/or given to help my city and the other areas affected by the hurricane.

For those wanting to uphold the NIRSA spirit of giving, you can donate to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund or through the American Red Cross as well as through various other charitable websites with a quick search online. Just please be careful to make sure it is a reputable site and not a scam. During the tenure of NIRSA past president Stacey Hall, we were introduced to many of the #HumansofNIRSA and she showcased how we uniquely all contribute to the overall success of our organization and represent what is right in the world.

More than ever, this fundamental pillar of NIRSA rings true as many of you have spoken out against the atrocities in Charlottesville or sprang into action in Houston.

See related: On building healthy communities – even in the face of hate and violence

The NIRSA Championship Series wants you!

Even in these trying times, September brings on the start of programming for almost all institutions and deadlines for many of the NIRSA volunteer opportunities. NIRSA is currently accepting applications for regional flag football staff positions.

In addition to those positons, NIRSA is accepting national soccer staff positions. Also, as the Ohio State University wraps up its hosting obligations for the NIRSA National Basketball Tournament, the chance for another institution to host this prestigious tournament is now available.

The last thing I will say—and I cannot say enough—is thank you for your compassion, your care, and your commitment. Thank you all.

Intramural Sports, Assistant Director at Texas A & M University-College Station | NIRSA Profile

Oscee Wheatfall, Chair of the NIRSA Championship Series, is currently the Intramural Sports, Assistant Director at Texas A & M University-College Station.