Wylie students and their parents were more than generous when it came to helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey during the early weeks of the school year.
Each Wylie campus, plus the Wylie PTO, did something to help victims, whether it was donating money, diapers, school supplies or backpacks.
“Everybody in the district was so generous across the board,” said Wylie PTO president Mary Potter. “It was a big effort on everyone’s part. I was just so amazed.”
The PTO adopted Jessup Elementary School in Houston through the Adopt a Classroom Hurricane Harvey Relief project. Jessup Elementary is a Title 1 school, and many of its students and their families lost everything.
“These children started their school year while staying in shelters or with family and friends after the hurricane,” Potter said.
The Wylie PTO collected 540 pounds of school supplies, and JC Penney donated more than 300 backpacks for the effort.
“The Wylie Community, Abilene and JC Penney showed this school that they are loved and we are here to help them recover from this devastation,” Potter said. “We want to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who donated, collected items and boxed items. Wylie is truly a great community.”
The PTO’s drive was just one of many efforts from the Wylie campuses. Here’s a look at other efforts.
In addition to collecting for the PTO, the Early Childhood Center collected toiletries and cleaning supplies for a shelter in Waco. The shelter took in families who were displaced by the hurricane.
Wylie teacher Jana Ammons coordinated the drive through First Baptist Church, where her niece attends church.
“My niece put it together, and we collected items and took them to FBC where they were sorted and made individual bags to hand out,” Ammons said. “Then she took a U-Haul trailer with the supplies to the shelter in Waco.”
Wylie Elementary collected “baby items” for families in the Conroe/Houston area.
Students brought diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, blankets, etc.
The school worked through the United Methodist Church in Anson on the effort.
Pastor Jim Wright said the items were sent to the United Methodist Church Relief warehouse in Conroe, where they can be distributed to needy families throughout the Houston area.
“We have warehouses all along the coast,” he said.
The Elementary collected enough items to cover the school’s stage. Wright and members of his church packaged them up with other donations, combining packages of diapers into boxes.
“We ended up taking 20 boxes of diapers and 12 boxes of diaper wipes,” Wright said. “That is a ton of diaper wipes.”
Wylie Middle School raised $2,554.98 to send to Smith Middle School in Beaumont.
Wylie’s 6th-grade math classes headed up the effort by having a contest to see which could raise the largest percentage of money.
“They made it a math lesson,” Principal Phil Boone said. “They did it by percentage, and they turned it into a math lesson.”
Each teacher’s class that raised the highest percentage got a donut party, and the one class that raised the most money overall got a pizza party.
One of Christi MacNoll’s classes won the pizza party.
“I had two classes that went above and beyond,” she said. “I’m so proud of these guys. They were really generous.”
MacNoll found Smith Middle School through her son-in-law, who works at First Financial Bank. He knew the school was in need through some of his bank contacts.
MacNoll said 75 percent of the students at the school are on free lunches.
“They needed house repairs even before Harvey came,” she said. “Their roofs were leaking already, and when the water came, it ruined everything. It was just really sad. We are really pleased it is going to someone that can really use it.”
In addition to sending Smith Middle School the money, Wylie Middle School also made cards and then taped them together into one long accordion card. Wylie students got to write messages of encouragement to their peers in Beaumont.
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School
Wylie Junior High collected more than 350 backpacks full of clothes, socks and other items that students might need if they lost everything in a hurricane.
Not only did Junior High students and their families donate to the project, but students from the Intermediate School and some from the Middle School donated.
Once the drive had ended, Junior High Principal Rob Goodenough personally delivered the items.
Wylie High School adopted Port Aransas High School and hosted two fundraisers to help the school and its students. The two efforts raised around $2,500.
The Purple Dog Company, a new student business at Wylie, sponsored a hat day. Students could wear their hat all day if they donated $3 to the project. The Student Council sold glow in the dark bracelets that said: Wylie Strong and Texas Strong. In addition to sending the money to Port Aransas, each Port Aransas High school student will receive one of the bracelets.