HOUSTON – Sept. 8, 2017 – For Amy Lucario, an instructional paraprofessional at Winship Elementary School, recovering from Hurricane Harvey is both a community matter and a family one. In the middle of the storm, Lucario ventured out to help her parents when their house began to flood down the street.
By the time she got back home, the water was there, too.
“We were just moving things, moving things,” Lucario said. “The water was just rising really quick. You start wondering, oh my gosh, should we evacuate? Should we stay? What are we going to do?”
Lucario and her family survived the storm, then found themselves – like so many others in the area – facing the challenges left in Harvey’s wake. That’s why the Spring ISD Education Foundation quickly organized itself to begin collecting donations that would directly aid local residents like Lucario and other affected staff and students. The foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is now accepting tax-deductible donations, with all contributions to be distributed to Spring ISD students and staff through small checks of $250 or less.
Growing out of the district’s “Springway” core values – including building trust through integrity, good communication and a team mindset – the relief efforts are aimed at strengthening and reinforcing the bonds of the local community, something Lucario quickly noticed in the aftermath of Harvey.
“So many people from work called and texted me, saying, ‘What can I do? Do you need something?’ … I have had so many people offer to come clean up with my family. It’s been awesome.”
While the grants are only one piece of a much larger relief effort, they can help families deal with essentials and, just as important, remind them of the support of the community.
“We know that many families have needs that go beyond what the checks will cover,” said Chief Communications Officer Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield. “But we hope they will help get someone through to the next paycheck or provide a way for them to purchase some basics, like food, clothing and toiletries.”
Donations through Thursday totaled nearly $20,000, close to half the initial goal. Individual grants to those affected will be limited in size, but with more than 300 requests filed, the need will be great. For more information, visit www.springisd.org/harveyrelief.
“You don’t realize how many people out there are willing to help,” Lucario said. “And you don’t realize how many people actually care. Those are the people you want to hug and be like, ‘Thank you so much!’”