It’s been more than three months since Hurricane Harvey swept through much of the Texas Gulf Coast. However even months later, the cities of Houston, Rockport, Beaumont, and others continue to rebuild. All told, the storm caused a record $200 billion in damages. The overall devastation included not just homes and business, but also schools and classrooms. But where there are disasters, there is also hope. Often a beautiful picture of humanity surfaces. Shortly after the hurricane, TCEA experienced a huge outpouring of support from schools, individuals, and organizations from around the nation. They wanted to know how they could help support schools affected by the hurricane.
An Uplifting Response
To help match schools affected to schools who wanted to help, TCEA created a form to facilitate connections. You can read about it in this previous blog post. We were incredibly humbled by the response we got. We ended up having more than 350 donors offer to help. They came from far beyond the Texas borders, all over the country, and even as far as Mexico. We were ultimately able to match over 200 Texas schools. They received everything from basic school supplies to books to restock libraries to band instruments.
Success Stories in the Face of Destruction
We wanted to share a few of the success stories we witnessed with our readers. Dr. Mary Beth Green shared that her pre-service teachers in Kappa Delta Pi sorority collected 70 books to restore the classroom library of a teacher at Vidor Middle School, a school outside of Beaumont that experienced extensive flood damage. Brittany Grimm at Rosa Parks Elementary in Illinois and her teachers gathered and sent 24 boxes of school supplies to three different schools they were matched with.
The schools who received supplies were incredibly grateful to feel the support of the educational community. One teacher in Hardin Jefferson ISD had this to say:
To a teacher, school supplies are an addiction. When the sales come at the end of summer, our eyes start to glaze over and we become absolutely giddy. I know it seems crazy, but it is true. After 21 years, I had lots of supplies stockpiled and was saddened to have lost all of them. However yesterday, I couldn’t stop smiling as I opened each box of treasures.
I’m sending y’all a Texas sized “Thank You!” from myself and my students at Henderson Middle School. These supplies will be put to good use and we owe it all to the College of Education at the University of Georgia.
Thanks from All of Us at TCEA
We wanted to thank everyone who participated in the matching, including those who offered their support, but who we were unable to find matches for. Your generosity was truly inspiring. As we begin the new year, there’s no time like the present to appreciate the kindness of our fellow humans.