On Wednesday morning, there were bottled water donations outside Julian T. Saldivar Elementary School. Many who live in the apartment complexes around the school have been without running water since last month's winter storm burst pipes and caused flooding inside their apartments.
"The water gets taken very, very, very quickly," said 5th-grade math teacher Katie Tate. Seeing that got her thinking about what else students needed when they returned to class last Wednesday.
"That's when one of my students told me his whole house had flooded, and specifically, his bed had flooded," Tate said.
Tate said other students chimed in with similar stories about sleeping on the floor and being short on food. So the teacher assigned herself some homework; an Amazon wish list with air mattresses, blankets, and food.
"What I realized is, if they don't have the basic needs of food and a soft place to sleep, there's no way they're going to be successful in my classroom," Tate explained.
Her wish list was shared by friends, and friends of friends, including NBC 5 anchor Meredith Land.
"The packages kept coming and coming and coming," said Tate. "Saturday I opened the door and I couldn't even get outside, and I was like, 'Oh my goodness! What has happened?'"
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Tate said Amazon delivered 200 boxes to her home, plus more directly to the school. She estimates she got more than $11,000 worth of mattresses, blankets, and food donated. It was enough to help students in every classroom at her school.
"It's kind of normalized to them that these bad things keep happening to them," Tate said. "So hopefully this will show them good that can come out of it."