Fraser soccer players assisting family affected by hurricane

By: Mark Vest, Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published September 11, 2017

 A photo of the home of a former Michigan resident who lives in Houston shows the destruction suffered from Hurricane Harvey. The Fraser High School boys soccer teams have organized a bottle and can collection fundraiser Sept. 16 to help out the family.

A photo of the home of a former Michigan resident who lives in Houston shows the destruction suffered from Hurricane Harvey. The Fraser High School boys soccer teams have organized a bottle and can collection fundraiser Sept. 16 to help out the family.

Photo provided by Kendra Lowe

FRASER/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Hurricane Harvey ravaged the city of Houston and parts of Louisiana with record rainfalls recently, and the effects can be felt here at home too.

Kendra Lowe, a Clinton Township woman who has two children in the Fraser Public Schools system, had an idea for a bottle drive after people she knows personally were affected by the hurricane’s devastation.

Kendra and her husband, Jim, fostered 13 children from 2007 to 2013. One was 2-year-old Lizzie, whose mother was working to get her life back on track.

“This little girl came into care (in 2013), we had her for 10 months, we had a great relationship,” Kendra Lowe said. “My goal is to always have a good relationship with the biological parents. … (Lizzie) was just a sweet little girl — a little spunky and did so awesome in our home.”

Her birth mother eventually took Lizzie in again, and the pair moved to Houston. They lived with her mother’s fiancé, and recently, their baby boy.

Kendra kept in touch with the family the past few years. As warnings of the peril of Harvey became national news, she hoped for the best. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.

“(They lost) everything,” she said. “I mean, (the mother) said she didn’t have a pair of underwear. That’s how bad it was. Everything just floated away.”

Lowe talked to Lizzie’s mother one day after the hurricane hit. With family of her own down south, Kendra felt the pain of what individuals were enduring. Helping others became a necessity rather than an option.

She posted her desire to help the family through social media channels like Facebook, in an attempt to decrease the stress of the family while offering clothes, pacifiers and anything else an average family might take for granted. A $375 check was collected almost instantly.

Even her brother, who lives in North Carolina, flew down to Houston and gathered donations that were ultimately delivered to Lizzie’s family.

“I didn’t want to see them suffer any more than what they were going through already,” she said.

On Sept. 16, the Fraser boys junior varsity and varsity soccer teams will go door to door and collect bottles and cans. Lowe’s son Noah, 17, is a senior captain on the varsity. 

At press time, flyers were being distributed to neighborhood homes in an effort to convey the urgency of the situation. All 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Lizzie’s family.

Lowe said that since it’s a last-minute endeavor, those who cannot participate in the drive can offer donations through written checks and the like.

Thaier Mukhtar is the coach of Fraser’s varsity team. While the bottle drive Lowe has organized is intended to help others, from his perspective, Fraser’s players are getting a lot out of it too.

“I think it’s very kind of (Lowe) to look out (on) behalf of others and get our program involved in this,” Mukhtar said. “This is something we’re doing to help this one family with two very young children that really don’t have much of anything. They have no insurance to cover their losses or anything like that. I’m proud of my boys. … Anything we do is a little more than they had; that’s the way I look at it.”

Mukhtar acknowledged that regardless of what happens on the soccer field, the opportunity to be involved could be the most important thing the program does the entire season.

“Sometimes we forget it’s just a soccer game,” he said. “There’s people out there trying to survive. … I think it’s a great lesson for the boys. I think it’s a great lesson to sometimes maybe go home and give mom and dad a hug and tell (them) ‘Thank you. I’m pretty blessed.’ … Now, let’s see if we can make other people’s lives just a little bit easier.”

Anyone who wants to contribute to the cause by donating bottles and cans or money, can email Lowe at thelowedown@aol.com.