A group of students and staff from Hempstead ISD traveled to Van Vleck on Thursday, March 2, to deliver a $1200 donation to John R. O’ Brien, Superintendent of Schools at Van Vleck ISD. The donation came from money raised by the Hempstead ISD family and community members in a “Students Helping Students…Schools Helping Schools” project.
Jessica Harvey and Roderick Walton, representing Hempstead ISD, presented Van Vleck Superintendent John R. O’ Brien a $1200 donation to the Van Vleck Lions Club. Pat Hackworth, secretary to the superintendent and Lions Club Secretary (on the left) and Christie Dement, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Federal Programs (on the right) along with several members of the Van Vleck High School Student Council were also on hand to accept the gift from Hempstead ISD.
The Van Vleck Leopards and Hempstead Bobcats have crossed paths several times over the years in both academic and athletic competitions so it was a heartfelt feeling to be able to help a fellow school district during a time of disaster.
A tornado had hit the town of Van Vleck on the morning of February 14, and left a destructive path that damaged the middle school and baseball field at the school district while leaving several students homeless in the area.
Dr. Angela Gutsch, HISD Superintendent, contacted O’Brien the day after the storm hit to see what Hempstead ISD could do to help. O’Brien, thankful that another small school district was willing to help out, responded that the Van Vleck Lions Club was handling everything for them and that monetary donations were needed.
Administration, faculty and students at Hempstead ISD quickly came together to raise funds to help another school district in their time of need. Donation cans were passed around athletic events that week, as well as meetings held on the campuses, with all the money raised going to help Van Vleck. In less than a week, the Bobcats had raised $1200 to help the Leopards.
After taking a moment to meet with Van Vleck administrators, members of the Van Vleck Lions Club and VVHS student council members, HHS seniors Jessica Harvey and Roderick Walton presented the check to O’Brien. The donation was greatly appreciated and received with humble gratitude.