How San Pedro schools came through for Texas hurricane victims
Boxes and boxes of donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas pulled out of San Pedro on Sunday, the efforts of a weeklong drive among schools in the Harbor Area.
The amount of donations, said Lora Caudill, principal of Leland Elementary School in San Pedro, was overwhelming.
“My one reservation (about the project) was that I didn’t want just a lot of old clothes,” she said. She didn’t have to worry.
“The response was phenomenal,” she said Friday. “My parent center (building) is filled.”
Many donors shopped in bulk at places such as Costco and the 99 Cents Only Store and brought in massive amounts of goods.
“We have two boxes full of toothbrushes, a box of anti-bacterial wipes, tons and tons and tons of diapers in all different sizes,” Caudill said. “We have baby wipes, bags and bags of formula, toilet paper, cases of water. We have a lot of canned goods. We have hairbrushes, shampoos, and conditioners, all the necessities for people who had to leave their houses.”
There also were boxes of school supplies — from notebooks and glue ticks to pens and pencils, she said. Local service clubs also pitched in after they read about the weeklong drive.
San Pedro schools worked with the Harmony School of Exploration in Houston, a public charter school that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math for under-served communities. That school will handle the donation influx on the other end.
Caudill spoke with the school’s principal, Nora Morales, on Friday as final preparations for the transport were made. Morales’ husband, Art, who brought a crew with him, drove the items back to Houston — about a 1,500-mile trip — after loading everything up over the weekend.
“She (Nora Morales) was just in tears on the phone,” Caudill said. “She said, ‘You guys and your town are just amazing.’ ”
The Harmony School of Exploration opened in early August but the hurricane forced its temporary closure as parts of the campus were flooded and roof repairs had to be made.
“The school just opened (again) on Sept. 11,” Caudill said. “All the floors had to be retiled and redone and there has been some ongoing water damage repair.”
Harmony also has been assisting in the recovery of another school in nearby Beaumont, Texas, that was damaged.