San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 18th, 2008
SMCISD Collects for Coastal Communities and Refugees of Hurricane Ike

The Dalai Lama says that “the greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear, and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness.” The students and staff of San Marcos CISD are harnessing the forces of love, compassion, and universal responsibility to help meet the needs of their unfortunate fellow Texans who-as a result of Hurricane Ike-are suffering the negative effects. Most campuses and several departments have collection boxes set up for much needed donations. The disaster relief efforts are so numerous, the collection boxes are being labeled to clearly distinguish the particular areas of need and donation.

“Many students and staff are bringing in canned goods, non-perishable food items, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste for the Hays County Area Food Bank and for the refugee families that are camping in the San Marcos Intermediate Shelter located in the former Bowie Elementary campus,” reports Public Information Officer Iris Campbell. “Others are bringing in cat and dog food and kitty litter for the evacuees’ pets that have been taken in at the San Marcos Animal Shelter.”

In addition to these local efforts, San Marcos CISD is adopting the ravaged school district of Anahuac ISD to assist with school supplies and books. Anahuac is a school district of about 1,400 students that is located east of Galveston where the Trinity River meets the Gulf of Mexico. San Marcos CISD

Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer talked this week with their superintendent, Dr. Linda Barnhart, who reported that all three of their campuses sustained major damage. The windows of the Anahuac High School library blew out, and most of their books were destroyed by water. Many of the students and district staff lost their homes and all their belongings. Anahuac Superintendent Barnhart has no idea when their district will be able to regroup for classes.

“I would like for San Marcos CISD to help this small district,” Dr. Shafer said, “especially since most of the resources for recovery will focus on the larger areas first before the smaller towns and districts.”

Classrooms and school organizations adopting this project are encouraged to collect items for the classroom (rather than for personal needs). Suggestions include:

* Library books suitable for kindergarten thorough 12th grade
* Student backpacks filled with basic school supplies
* Monetary donations with checks to be made out to Anahuac ISD.

All donations for the Anahuac ISD should be brought to Central Office, 501 S. LBJ Drive, in San Marcos. A van has been secured to take the first group of donations on October 10, so collected items should be at Central Office by October 9.

By IRIS CAMPBELL
Public Information Officer – San Marcos CISD

Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Yolanda Almendarez is joined by SMCISD Lamar Annex staff Linda Contreras and Rose Torres as they collect and box school supplies for storm-ravaged Anahuac ISD.

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