(Watch video above recorded live with Superintendent James Young on site.)
By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
It was a lesson in humanity … and LaPoynor ISD aced the test.
Wednesday afternoon, three LaPoynor school buses pulled into the Help Center parking lot in Athens to unload nearly 45,000 items collected for Hurricane Harvey relief.
It was an incredible sight and triple the original goal, according to LaPoynor ISD Superintendent James Young.
“We thought if we filled just (one bus), that would be an outstanding effort,” he said, “and that bus was filled up in two days.”
It only took a week to collect all the items.
Young said the effort at the district mirrored what was happening in the community.
“The people in the community there around LaPoynor are very, very caring people, and when they saw the devastation in the Houston area their hearts went out to (the people there),” he said.
School district officials wanted to help, so they came up with a plan.
“We decided to put a little contest together by grade level and the families in the community, the kids in the district, the administrators working there all pulled together to really make this come to fruition,” Young said.
Jannell Dunnington of the Athens Unit Salvation Army said that the donations were practical, everyday items.
“Our folks that are down in South Texas that are in Houston and Rockport and La Marque, and there are so many cities that have been effected,” she said. “This is something that can go in their hands and be used immediately, whether it is the people who have been effected or the workers who are down there.”
She praised the LaPoynor effort.
“The Henderson County Help Center, the Salvation Army Athens Service Unit could not have done this without a community coming together, LaPoynor community coming together, and saying it’s Texas and they’ve been effected, therefore let’s do something about it,” Dunnington said.
The relief supplies will be sent south a little bit at a time with area churches.
“Churches know that there are people down there hurting and that there are people down there that need their help,” Dunnington said. “That’s what we’re seeing from our church community in Henderson County and all over the State of Texas. They want to be a part of the healing process and healing begins with someone putting a hand to someone else and saying, ‘I’m there for you.'”
(Follow Michael V. Hannigan on Twitter and Instagram @mvhannigan)