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Educators & Friends Presented $20,000 to Refugio ISD to Replenish Library Materials Lost in Hurricane Harvey

WACO, Texas - Representatives from ESC Region 12, Gravely & Pearson, L.L.P., TREA, Region 3 ESC and others presented a check for $20,000 to RISD staff Wednesday morning, following a staff kickoff meeting at the Refugio ISD Elementary School.

While Hurricane Harvey is a distant memory for most of us, the students, teachers and community in the small, rural coastal town of Refugio, are still dealing with the ramifications. For the last year, Refugio ISD educators have balanced meeting the basic needs of students, rebuilding homes and schools, and supporting traumatized students, while providing some normalcy through school activities. 

In May, after speaking with Refugio ISD Superintendent Melissa Gonzales and learning of the community’s ongoing needs, leaders from Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12 in Waco launched a fundraiser with the goal of raising $20,000 to replenish the school's library with new books and instructional materials. 

The success of the online fundraiser relied largely on the generosity of educators, business colleagues and friends. Upon learning of the fundraiser, Gravely & Pearson, L.L.P. played an integral role in promoting the fundraiser and soliciting donations from their wide network of contacts.

The largest donation of more than $10,000 came from the Texas Rural Education Association’s (TREA) Foundation. A recent donation of $2,500 from H-E-B helped the group reach their goal of $20,000.

“There’s nothing better than seeing educators and friends come together to help our colleagues in Refugio who have worked tirelessly to get back on track for the new school year,” said Jerry Maze, Ed.D., Executive Director for ESC Region 12. “Taking care of each other during hard times is what educators, and really, Texans do best! We are so appreciative to all who have supported this initiative.”

“We are pleased to make a positive impact with our donation,” said Don Rogers, executive director of TREA. “Members from across the state were eager to provide contributions to those hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey.” 

“In the aftermath of this historic natural disaster, the Refugio ISD school family has witnessed the best in humanity,” said Refugio ISD Superintendent Melissa Gonzales. “One of the finest examples of the blessings we have received is an outpouring of support from Education Service Center Region 12, Gravely & Pearson, Texas Rural Education Association, and their many partners. The generous monetary gift will provide much-needed library resources for our children, and the encouragement behind the gift renews our spirits. We are forever grateful.”

If others are interested in supporting RISD, please contact the school at 361.526.5400.

View the raw photos here >

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