I recently received a tabulation of official donations made to our school district in 2011-12. Cash and goods combined totaled over $960,000! Let me tell you the story of just one of these many donations:
Our Pearland ISD counselors identified 36 students and their families who were in great need of support for the Christmas holidays. $4,000 of that amount was raised by the employees of Wal-Mart who work at the Dixie Farm location. In order to reach that total, the employees held weekly bake sales, prepared BBQ plates, made soups, etc. and sold those items to each other during lunch in their employee break room. Mind you, these are typically part-time employees earning an hourly wage. In addition, the store manager worked with our school district to apply for a $6,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation – to add to the funds raised. I understand this is the fourth year for this store and its employees to make a donation like this. The store manager has told our people that of all the team-building activities, this one has had the most positive impact on employees. I would add that such activities made Christmas possible for 36 families – and set an example for all to see.
Various organizations within our community — including the YMCA, Kroger, GDF Suez Energy, Chocolate Bayou Federal Credit Union, Vineyard Church, NBCEA, Luna’s Mexican Restaurant, HOPE Church, and Pet Hub Animal Rescue — collected supplies and cash to provide back-to-school backpacks to needy students last fall.
Other organizations also donated to needy families/students when the call went out. These included Target, Macy’s, Pet Hub, Tammy Dexter, Nancy Kozanecki, Favors for Friends Charity Thrift Store, Central Church of Christ, and Academy Sports & Outdoors.
Others donated to events ranging from Astros tickets to staff development training. Among them are Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union, the Houston Astros, H-E-B, Wells Fargo, Pearland Area Republican Women, Wal-Mart Main Street in Pearland, M.D. Anderson, Brazoria County Fair Association, Rice University, BP’s Fabric of America Fund, Casa Ole, South Park Funeral Home, Dr. Gant’s Pediatric Office, Red Robin Restaurant, Putt-Putt Funhouse, Kroger, Rotary Club of Pearland, The Legacy One Group, Spring Creek Barbeque, Keep Pearland Beautiful, Raising Cane’s Restaurant, Ryland Homes, Eric Livingston, CiCi’s Pizza, Tutoring Club, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Strickland Chevrolet, Chick-fil-A, Sports Clips, Dare to Excel, and Joseph’s Nursery.
There are other organizations and individuals who have donated either anonymously or through channels that didn’t necessarily get recorded in the report I received. In any case, I want to express my appreciation, on behalf of the Pearland ISD students and staff, for your collective example of generosity and kindness.
It is our children and our entire community who are blessed!