Bullard community, local schools respond after Harvey hits Texas coast

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Known throughout East Texas for its giving heart in times of need, the Bullard community, as well as Bullard Independent School District and The Brook Hill School, stepped up to help their neighbors from Southeast Texas who were directly impacted by the flood waters and storm damage of Hurricane Harvey last week.

Through a collaborative effort of collecting from the Bullard community, as well as Lindale Church of Christ, Bullard Church of Christ, Southside Church or Christ in Jacksonville, and Sadler’s in Jacksonville, a total of five trucks and four trailers loaded down with donations departed Bullard and traveled to Mauriceville, with Campbell Custom Homes owner Jason Campbell aboard the expedition.

“Our church was already talking about getting things together, and the preacher at the Lindale Church of Christ, who is from Beaumont, said he was going to make a trip down there, so we teamed up with him,” said Campbell. “We parked our work trailer outside of our office and started making signs saying we were taking donations. In a course of four-and-a-half days, the trailer was completely full with tools, food, diapers, you name it. We also had a total of eight pallets of water donated for us to take down.”

In total, the collection efforts by the community and local churches overwhelmed the Mauriceville Church of Christ with over 4000 food and cleaning items and 8,000 bottles of water.

Now, Campbell’s work trailer is parked at the four-way intersection of Main St. and Houston St. in Bullard where it will sit until it gets full of supplies to take to Lumberton, a partnership undertaking created by the City of Bullard and the Bullard Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve actually been contacted by a group in Lumberton, and we’re going to be making a trip down there once the trailer is full,” said Campbell.

In addition to the 8,000 bottles of water already reserved for the trip to Lumberton, donations are being sought of non-perishable food items, baby food, diapers, formula, shovels, gloves, face masks, trash bags, rubber boots, crowbars, hammers, tools, cleaning supplies, and bleach. Donations can be dropped off at the Campbell Custom Homes trailer. Organizers are asking for no clothing donations, as several areas of Southeast Texas have received plenty of donations of clothes.

Students at The Brook Hill School were also able to give to those who have potentially lost everything due to Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters and strong winds by donating several needed items last week.

According to a post on Brook Hill’s website, the opportunity to collect supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey is in concordance with the school’s “Guard Charge,” whereas the school and its students were able to “serve others.”

The school established two donation centers on campus for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, one at the Brook Hill Lower School and one at the Upper School’s “The Cabin Coffee Shop.”

In an email sent out to Brook Hill parents by Headmaster Rod Fletcher, the aspect of serving others caused the school to join in the collection efforts.

“We are moved with compassion and deeply grieving for all those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Fletcher, in the email. “Many in our own community have family and lifelong friends experiencing great devastation and loss. Our prayers are with them and the entire community of Texas and Louisiana in the midst of this crisis. This disaster also compels us to serve others, an important part of our mission at The Brook Hill School.”

Fletcher’s email requested donations from the Brook Hill community of water bottles, diapers, baby wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and blankets. Dean of Students Bobby Brasher delivered the supplies to Turning Point Church in Vidor last week and helped the church begin cleaning up as waters receded.

Several groups and organizations in and around Bullard Independent School District held fundraising efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Bullard Future Farmers of America organization held a “Spare Your Pair Drive” urging those wishing to give to donate new packages of socks, underwear, sports bras, and rubber boots to those affected by the storm. Bullard FFA is continuing to collect donations until Friday, Sept. 15.

The Bullard Belles put their muscles to work in response to those hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey by filling five-gallon buckets with donated cleaning supplies to assist in the cleanup process, including liquid laundry detergent, household cleaners, dish soap, insect repellent, scrub brushes, cleaning wipes, sponges, heavy-duty trash bags, work gloves, and more.

Several organizations at Bullard Middle School, including the BMS Pom Squad, Builder’s Club, BMS Cheer, and National Junior Honor Society, also collected supplies specifically to help Southeast Texans get back on their feet and clean up after Hurricane Harvey, including toiletries, bottled water, non-perishable canned food, disposable gloves, trash bags, bleach, mops, brooms, and box fans. The items collected by the BMS organizations will be delivered to victims in Porter.

On the Bullard Intermediate School campus, students banded together to collect items for evacuees that traveled to East Texas to avoid the storm. Items collected by the school’s students included bottled water, paper towels, deodorant, mosquito repellent, hand sanitizer, first aid kits, trash bags, baby and adult diapers, soap, shampoo, non-perishable canned food, dog and cat food, and more.

The Bullard community also gave towards Hurricane Harvey relief efforts through Bullard ISD, as the Bullard Panther junior varsity football team collected monetary donations during the first varsity football game of the year, as well as during the second junior varsity matchup, raising funds in excess of $1,500 to be donated to the Texas High School Coaches Foundation Disaster Relief Fund..

“The thing I’m most proud of is to be able to see the student-led passion in collecting donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said Todd Schneider, Bullard ISD Superintendent. “We didn’t want to do just an overall fundraiser from our district because that takes away from the students leading the efforts. I’ve enjoyed, and I believe our community takes pride in, how many students have taken ownership, leading the way to raise money and collect supplies for people not even from this community. To see the students aware, acknowledge, and take part in these efforts is very rewarding in knowing we’re having the right impact on the future generation by teaching them it’s not about themselves, it’s about helping others in need.”

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