Over the last few days, we all watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas.
The storm’s wrath upended the lives of tens of thousands, if not millions, of people across the Gulf Coast.
While the worst is over for Houston, the hurricane is now moving towards Louisiana and other states.
During this time, the National School Choice Week team keeps everyone in Houston, across Texas, and in the Gulf Coast in our thoughts.
The individuals who lost their lives, their families, and the many other people who have been displaced by this storm are in my prayers.
We also salute the bravery of the storm’s many heroes. These are firefighters and police officers, emergency management personnel and medics, relief workers and volunteers and so many others. They are also ordinary people who, when facing disaster, did extraordinary things to help their fellow Americans. They rescued people. They gave people shelter. They helped their neighbors evacuate. They shared their food. They did so many things, and they are heroes for it.
We honor the parents, teachers, and school administrators who, despite not knowing when their schools might be able to reopen for learning, organized heroic volunteer efforts to help and feed families hardest hit by this disaster. The education community – and schools of all types – is rising to the unprecedented challenge this storm has forced upon them.
To me, these stories of heroism, sacrifice, and compassion reflect an American story that underscores our greatness as a nation. These stories remind me that even in the midst of political division, Americans can and do unite. Our spirit is strong, we are a caring people, and we never give up.
But for a full recovery, all Americans, including those outside of the Gulf Coast, must pitch in and help out.
Whether you donate to a food bank, a shelter, a diaper bank, a school, or to a relief effort, your donations will help Texas and the Gulf Coast rebuild. Recovery will take time, but it can move more quickly when we all get involved.
PHOTO: KIPP Houston school leaders rescue families impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, August 29, 2017. Photo credit: KIPP Houston Public Schools.