Story originally appeared in RU, the official magazine of Rockhurst University.
Where are they now? Catching up with former athletes
Recent Rockhurst University Graduate Volunteers in Houston for a Year
When Michael Lydon-Lorson started college, he envisioned himself going to law school or into the major leagues after graduation. But after signing on with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps instead, he found himself in Houston facing down Hurricane Harvey and the 33 trillion gallons of water it dropped along its path.
In August 2017, just days after starting his assignment working along with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at the St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance, the rain starting falling. Harvey was upon them.
“It wouldn’t stop raining for four or five days,” Lydon-Lorson said. “About a third of the city flooded. All public transportation stopped and that’s when you started seeing people going out in boats.”
Thankfully, the JVC residence was spared from any flooding and left a house full of Jesuit Volunteers ready to help with any relief efforts as soon as it was safe.
For the next week, JVs and Catholic Charities worked at different locations, including the Houston Convention Center, trying to get the bare essentials to victims of the flooding.
He said it was difficult to hear the stories of undocumented immigrants who are flood victims, but not eligible for FEMA assistance.
“These were the nicest people and they were forced out of their homes,” he said. “They’ve lost everything and don’t know what to do next.”
After a hectic week, Lydon-Lorson was able to return to fulfill his one-year role at the immigration services, helping to translate as immigrants navigate through the United States’ complex immigration system.
“Everything you do here is as a team,” he said. “Learning how to work in a team and depend and trust the people you work with is something I learned at Rockhurst. Baseball also taught me a sense of discipline and work ethic that I was able to bring into the real world.”