Compassionate Service isn’t just a core value Carroll Dragons talk about; they walk the talk.
“I’m so proud of our kids and our community for the outpouring of generosity they have shown for our neighbors in south Texas,” says Carroll ISD Superintendent Dr. David J. Faltys. “A lot of people talk about the ‘Carroll Way’ and what it means to be a Dragon, and the things our students and staff are doing to help others in their time of need are a perfect demonstration of our core values of compassionate service and relationships at work.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, CISD and Dragon Stadium partner, OZARKA® Brand Natural Spring Water decided to join forces to help three school districts in the Houston area that were greatly impacted by the storm, as well as make a donation to the Houston Food Bank.
Tying in an existing program launched in 2016 called the “Ozarka Give Back Challenge” that collected over 6,000 pounds of food for local Dallas-Ft.Worth area food pantries, this year’s Challenge took the form of a gift card drive among all 11 campuses within CISD. In a two-pronged program, every gift card collected by CISD would go directly to one of three southeast Texas school districts impacted by Hurricane Harvey. And for every card collected by CISD, OZARKA® Brand Natural Spring Water would then donate $1 and one .5L bottle of Ozarka® Brand water directly to the Houston Food Bank up to a total of $5,000 and 5,000 bottles.
During a five-day period from September 11-15, CISD students, staff and families donated 3,300 gift cards equaling more than $36,000. Added to that total was Ozarka’s donation to the Houston Food Bank of $3,300 and 3,300 bottles of water, bringing the total efforts to about $40,000 in Hurricane Harvey relief to southeast Texas.
“Supporting our community in times of need, particularly during a disaster, is very important to Ozarka and our 1,400 employees across Texas,” said Ozarka Factory Manager, Eric Bryant. “We are glad to partner with the Carroll Dragons again this year in support of the Houston Food Bank and Hurricane Harvey victims.”
“The Houston Food Bank is grateful for the generous supporters from across the nation,” says Brian Greene, Houston Food Bank President. “Carroll ISD and OZARKA® Brand Natural Spring Water demonstrating such caring and giving spirits are great examples of communities pulling together. With this support for Hurricane Harvey relief, we will be able to help provide much-needed supplies throughout our service area in southeast Texas.”
Aside from the Houston Food Bank donations by Ozarka, the three school districts identified by CISD to receive the gift cards are Humble ISD, Dickenson ISD, and Pearland ISD. On Wednesday, October 18, 2017, the groups came together to deliver the gift cards, water, and money to the Houston area.
“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from Carroll ISD after the devastation to our community from Hurricane Harvey,” said Pearland ISD Superintendent Dr. John Kelly. “The collection of gift cards during their district-wide ‘Give Back Challenge’ will help many Pearland families who lost so much in the flooding. Our community is in for a marathon as we recover from this natural disaster, and the compassion and assistance from those in Carroll ISD will go a long way in the recovery efforts.”
Staff from Pearland ISD were on hand Wednesday to receive $15,000 in gift cards from Carroll ISD. Representatives from Humble ISD and Dickenson ISD were present to receive $10,850 in gift cards to distribute to their educators affected by the flooding.
“Dickinson ISD is overwhelmed at the outpouring of support we have received from across the nation. This amazing gesture of support from Carroll ISD, along with the many other donations received throughout the past several weeks to our Dickinson ISD Education Foundation, will go a long way to getting our students and employees on the road to recovery from the devastating floods,” said Dickinson ISD Superintendent Vicki Mims.
“While Dickinson ISD school facilities were spared from major damage, the Dickinson ISD community was not as fortunate. Hundreds of our students, employees, and their families are in the beginning stages of rebuilding their homes, as well as replacing vehicles and personal belongings,” Mims added. “However, these past few weeks have also taught us about the great resilience of our Gator Nation community, as people are volunteering and helping others in need.”
Carroll ISD’s partnership with Humble ISD began shortly after Hurricane Harvey when players on Varsity Football rallied to collect cleaning supplies to benefit Kingwood High School. The campus closed after more than two feet of water penetrated the hallways following Hurricane Harvey. Students are attending other campuses while officials assess damage and repair KHS.
“Hundreds of our Humble ISD families and employees’ homes were destroyed,” said Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen. “These gift cards will greatly help our families in their recovery efforts. Humble ISD is grateful to receive this support from our friends in Carroll ISD.”
Carroll ISD released a video story on this drive and the impact the donations will have on these three communities.
About Ozarka® Brand Natural Spring Water
As a natural resource company providing a healthy bottled beverage, Ozarka® and its parent company, Nestlé Waters North America, are dedicated to producing high quality bottled water in a sustainable way. This includes reducing the amount of plastic in its bottles and packaging, investing in hybrid transportation technology, increasing internal recycling, regionalizing bottling facilities, constructing LEED® certified buildings, and sponsoring recycling initiatives nationally. Nationwide, Nestlé Waters manages spring sites across the United States and maintains nearly 14,000 acres of natural watershed area. In East Texas, Ozarka® preserves more than 2,000 acres of land and operates LEED® certified bottling facility that employs more than 230 people.