Texas Connects Us: Keller ISD Teachers, Students Adopt Community Devastated By Harvey

Teachers at Timber Creek High School in the Keller Independent School District turned a need into a lesson.

Like most people, English teacher Jamie Bird watched Hurricane Harvey's flood waters rise and felt compelled to act.

She thought about her fellow teachers in South Texas who were just days away from the start of the school year and how Harvey's devastation had impacted their lives.

"Over the last few years I've accumulated a ton of school supplies, and thinking about that and all that being ruined and gone, [I thought], 'Just what would you do?'" Bird said.

Together with several other teachers, they adopted Mayde Creek High School in the Katy Independent School District. More than 17,000 students and teachers in the Katy ISD were directly affected by Harvey.

Then, they organized a campus-wide school supply drive. They collected notebooks, folders, paper, backpacks and more.

"It's certainly not just backpacks. It's effort. It's compassion and love and outreach for our neighbors in Houston," Bird said.

The students started with a modest goal of 75 backpacks, but they collected more than 700 backpacks, plus dozens of extra supplies.

"It's not just enough to post on social media, pray for them or just say that you're thinking of them, you're actually acting on it," said sophomore Allison Ulrey, who helped organize the donations.

Just looking at the pile of backpacks that took over an empty room can be overwhelming.

"It is. It really is," said Meleya Dunn, wiping away tears.

It's why the teachers wanted to take the lesson a step further.

Over the weekend, Timber Creek students and teachers loaded the supplies on three buses and drove to Houston.

They toured neighborhoods damaged by Harvey and then personally delivered the donations to Mayde Creek High School.

"To see first hand the people that you're giving it to and the people that you're impacting, that's where it makes it special," Bird said.

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