Team effort: School enlists help from all grades for donations for storm victims

Published Wednesday, September 6, 2017
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Lending a Helping Hand

LENDING A HELPING HAND – Decatur High School seniors (from left) Emily Boyd, Maddi Waskom and Haden Davis hold some of the items donated for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Each grade level has been asked to provide specific items for the donation drive, which runs through Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur ISD students and staff are helping out a school affected by last week’s flooding in Southeast Texas.

Last week, students, teachers and administrators met to find a way to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the lingering storms dumped by Tropical Storm Harvey.

“Each organization wanted to do something,” said senior Emily Boyd, president of the Spanish National Honor Society. ” … I had talked to (Spanish teacher) Ms. (Patricia) Hodge about doing something, and the next day they had a meeting of all the organizations. We were going to do something together.”

District Communications Director Holly Fuller said the group decided that instead of having each organization do separate donation drives, they would combine their efforts.

“We had so many great kids and great administrators saying, ‘We want to do something,’ and so instead of us saying, ‘Let’s have the Honor Society do one thing and the FFA do something else,’ let’s really multiply our efforts by saying, ‘What about by grade levels?’ The elementary schools had contacted us saying they wanted to participate, so we just sort of organized a plan,” she said.

That plan includes dividing up specific supplies by grade levels as follows:

Carson, Rann, and Young Elementary schools:

  • Kindergarten: shampoo and/or conditioner
  • First grade: deodorant
  • Second grade: toilet paper and/or paper towels
  • Third grade: bug spray
  • Fourth grade: contact cases and/or contact solution
  • Fifth grade: razors and/or shaving cream
  • McCarroll Middle School:

    • Sixth grade: toothbrushes
    • Seventh grade: toothpaste
    • Eighth grade: soap

    High School:

    • Ninth grade: flip flops
    • 10th grade: new socks
    • 11th grade: new towels and/or washcloths
    • 12th grade: baby wipes

    Several campuses are holding competitions between grade levels to see who can donate the most items. For instance, the high school class who collects the most items gets to leave for lunch three minutes early each day next week.

    Donations were also sought from community members during halftime of last Friday’s home football game. Senior Maddi Waskom, representing the National Honor Society and DHS Theatre department, came up with the idea of a “Minute to Give It” effort.

    “Basically you put 60 seconds on the clock, and you had a bunch of students with buckets and bags, and everyone in the stands had 60 seconds to give as much money as possible,” she said.

    It resulted in $2,726 collected in one minute Friday.

    Another “Minute to Give It” donation effort will be held at this Friday’s home volleyball game.

    DISD will send donations to Victoria ISD, one of the schools hit hard by the storm. According to reports in the Victoria Advocate, each of the district’s 24 campuses received some level of damage from the storm, including damage such as tree debris, water damage and broken windows. Staff returned to school this week, but students won’t resume classes until next week.

    Senior Haden Davis, representing Decatur FFA, said her organization is also working with other FFA chapters in Wise County for a “Stuff the Bus” drive for donations.

    “In FFA, we’re a very tight-knit community,” Davis said. “We had the state convention down there in Corpus last summer, and just to think of all our other FFA family down there suffering, we just wanted to be able to give back to them, because we knew they would do the same for us.”

    Donations will be accepted through Friday.

    The district is also collecting monetary donations at home games and at some campuses for Undies for Everyone, an organization that is supplying new underwear for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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