LATEST VIDEOS FROM CTV REGINA
Sask. residents helping victims of Hurricane Harvey
Volunteers and first responders work together to rescue residents from rising flood waters in Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. Forecasters expect the storm to linger over the Gulf before heading back inland east of Houston sometime Wednesday. The system will then head north and lose its tropical strength. (Scott Clause / The Daily Advertiser via AP)
Published Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:32PM CST
Willie Jefferson’s mind goes home as soon as his cleats leave the turf.
“Once I step off the field my mind goes back to worrying about friends and family and the community in Houston in Beaumont,” the Roughrider defensive end said after practice.
Jefferson was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, and spent time in Houston for football. Both cities are dealing with the disaster of Hurricane Harvey.
“me not being able to be there and comfort my mom and comfort my girl and my family and nieces and nephews, it just puts me at a real standstill,” Jefferson said.
As the hurricane breaks rainfall records in the United States, tens of thousands are being displaced. Jefferson said his family hasn’t been forced to leave their home, but his safety isn’t far from his mind.
The CFL player isn’t the only one in Regina focusing on Harvey. Frank and Cheryl Atkinson are volunteers with the Salvation Army and are ready to head south.
“They send out deployments for two week terms and one team has just left so we’re on standby for possibly the second term,” Cheryl Atkinson said, taking a break from packing for another volunteer trip. While the couple waits, they’re spending four days helping forest fire evacuees in Saskatoon.
Work in Texas could take many forms.
“It could be in the kitchen, cooking, serving, it could be out speaking with people or cleaning up...wherever the need that's where we go,” Atkinson said.
For Canadians who can’t volunteer, there are other ways to contribute. The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations online, and Jefferson’s team is stepping up to help as well.
The Roughriders will be collecting donations at their upcoming Fan Day on September 3rd.