Parents: Everything's Bigger in Texas, Especially the Hearts

In Collin County, a group of band parents have been digging a little deeper into their pockets to helps students in need nearly 1,000 miles away.

It began when Ann Skaehill, a Prosper High School band parent, ran across a news story out of the Appalachian region of Kentucky.

"I opened it up and my heart immediately sank," Skaehill said.

The Pike County Central High School marching band in Kentucky had raised money for new uniforms. After giving the money to a local company, it went out of business and the band was out $3,700 according to band director Matt Moon.

"To know that that they were putting in all that hard work, knowing that new uniforms were coming, then to have it pulled out from under them, it's hard," Skaehill said. "You want to do something."

Skaehill had no connection to the band in Kentucky, but she reached out to Moon anyway.

"When I had that first conversation with him, he said, 'I'm sorry, did you say Texas? Are you in Texas?'" laughed Skaehill.

Skaehill launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for a nonprofit supporting the band in Kentucky.

Skaehill said the fundraiser was parent-driven and none of the Prosper High School band funds were used in the effort. 

Since October, Skaehill's GoFundMe page has raised $4,650 -- just shy of their $6,700 goal.

"Get these kids the tools they need so they can be as successful as they possibly can," Skaehill said. 

Skaehill's GoFundMe page asked for donations in this way:

"They say everything is bigger in Texas and perhaps that's true when it comes to the size of our trucks, high schools, marching bands, and possibly our hearts as well because we are linking arms and chipping in to help this band get back everything that they lost... and then some."

Over the weekend, Skaehill received a thank you video message from the students and staff at Pike County Central High School.

Students shared gratitude for the strangers who worked to help them get new uniforms.

"To be able to be part of a group that helps other kids get to do the same thing that my son enjoys, that I enjoy watching my son do, it's a really great feeling," said Evan Jones, another Prosper band parent.

The band families in Eastern Kentucky and North Texas haven't met and don't have plans to meet in person.

"Even if we never do, it doesn't matter because the Lord loves a cheerful giver.  When we give, we give cheerfully," Skaehill said. "What matters is really making a difference in the lives of someone else."

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