The recent devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey has left us all looking for ways to lend a helping hand to our Texas neighbors. Our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow Texans in the Houston area. Wylie ISD has received multiple inquiries on ways to provide much-needed help to this area. We have been inundated with people looking for ways to help—thank you for your willingness to give back to those in need. I am always so proud of our community for stepping up and serving others. I love our Wylie ISD family, and I consider myself lucky to live and work in Wylie.
There are many ways that we can support this cause, and we have already begun working on plans which will positively impact the victims of this tragedy. We’ve quickly come to learn that help is needed in ways we may not ever have imagined. We’ve all seen the images on television of the people who have lost their homes and their possessions. But, they aren’t the only ones needing our help. Their animals need us, too.
This picture was released today, and I can’t get the image out of my mind. As a pet lover myself, I can’t imagine what these families are going through. Many people have been reconnected with their animals—others haven’t been so lucky.
In Wylie ISD, we have been blessed with an FFA facility that houses many different types of animals. Because we have this facility, we have a wonderful opportunity to provide shelter and love to some of the displaced animals of Houston. In the coming days, we will be taking in forty large animal and forty small animals from the Houston area. This is just one way that we can give back and work to ensure that ALL hurricane victims are safe and sound.
In addition to helping these animals, we have also reached out to FEMA and other organizations. Their representatives have encouraged us not to collect donations for “stuff” to send to Houston. However, we can provide direct support to flood victims displaced to our area. In fact, we can make a HUGE difference by helping displaced victims locally.
Here is how you and your organization can help.
DONATE TO A STATE AND NATIONAL ORGANIZATION
To ensure the money, goods, and services go directly to the victims who need it, we have been encouraged to direct folks to support state or national agencies already on the ground in Houston. Here is a list of those organizations.
American Red Cross: American Red Cross: Go to redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Kroger-American Red Cross: Kroger/American Red Cross: NBC 5 and Kroger are teaming up to get help with the relief effort for the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Visit your neighborhood Kroger and make a monetary donation to the American Red Cross at Kroger's check-out registers. All of the money will go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief.
Carter Bloodcareis looking for all blood type donations, with an emphasis on type O and type O negative. As intensive care patients arrive in North Texas, there will be an increase in the demand for blood and platelets. Donors can call Carter BloodCare at 1-877-571-1000 for information on times and places to donate. For more information, click on this link Carter BloodCare.
SUPPORT VICTIMS DISPLACED LOCALLY
The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is preparing to serve up to five thousand Houston area evacuees. For people interested in donating, Trusted Worldwill accept the following donations:
New warmups for men, women, children, and infants
Baby formula and baby wipes, bottles, diapers and the Graco Pac n’ Plays for babies to sleep in
You can drop off these items at the office of any Wylie ISD campus office. Since the items are needed now. We will only collect items until Friday at noon. Any collected items will be taken to the relief center at that time. Unfortunately, we cannot accept any items other than what is on this list.
Dallas Drop-Off Site
You can also drop-off any item at 15660 N. Dallas Parkway, just north of Arapaho on the North side of the parkway. Follow the signs to drop off donations. The donations center will open daily from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
There are many displaced pets - SPCA of Texas is looking for the following supplies:
Cat litter and litter boxes
Towels, blankets, and pet beds
Large wire crates
Toys and treats
Gas gift cards
I am sorry that Wylie ISD cannot accept these donations. They can be delivered to the SPCA of Texas' Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas or the SPCA of Texas' Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney.
There are organizations in Wylie that are collecting items for displaced storm victims. Here is a brief list.
The City of Sachse Local churches in Sachse are collecting CVS, Walmart and Visa/MasterCard gift cards for the next two weeks for flood victims. Any Sachse fire station may accept these gift cards. I will update this blog with that information once its posted.
5 Loaves Food Pantry at North Point Church of Christ is accepting donations of small, travel size toiletries at at 4401 Williford Road.
First Baptist Church in Wylie is collecting the following items that will be delivered to Houston as soon as possible:
Plastic storage bins
Heavy-duty trash bags
Please drop these items at First Baptist Church Wylie Event Center reception area at 100 North First Street in downtown Wylie.
Closer to Home
If you are housing a displaced student, our Wylie ISD family is here to help. Our PTA can get you clothes, our churches can help with food, and our schools are here to welcome you with open arms. Loss of housing due to a storm like this would declare a student “homeless” and may allow us to provide a variety of services such as school supplies and more. Please let our schools know of ways they can help. We want to get these babies the help they need to make them feel safe and secure, the Wylie Way.
In the coming days, there may be more asked of us. As always, Wylie ISD stands ready to serve. Thanks for all you do to show our kids that caring and giving are the two most important values we can teach them. I cannot express how grateful I truly am for all of you.