By Dr. Larry Feinsod

Sept. 6, 2017

It wasn’t too long ago that many parts of New Jersey—and many of our public schools—were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. At the time, we responded by creating the NJSBA Hurricane Sandy Assistance Effort to match donors with schools in need.

People across the nation very generously offered educational supplies and materials to affected schools.

Since then, after natural disasters in other states, we reached out to our membership to return the kindness. And they did, after flooding in Louisiana last year, and tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Although school districts cannot make contributions using public funds, individual board members, administrators and school staff may contribute as private citizens. In addition, organizations such as parents’ groups and student clubs may participate in fundraising.

This past weekend, as you know, the Houston, Texas area experienced a horrific storm. More than 40 inches of rain fell on the area; the flooding has been devastating.

It’s only a matter of time before we learn the extent to which schools have been affected. (This morning’s New York Times reported on school closings in more than 160 districts.) Recently, I reached out to James Crow, the executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards, and asked him to let us know of any efforts to receive contributions—either monetary donations or materials—for public schools that have been damaged by the storm.

We will provide our members with information as soon as it is available. [Updated information is available in the September 6 issue of School Board Notes.]

Until then, there are basic human needs that must be met. People had to abandon their homes; they’ve lost all their possessions; food and medicine are needed; blood banks are running short.

Yesterday’s edition of the Houston Chronicle included a list of relief organizations in need of support. I would urge you to help immediately.

These are my Reflections. I look forward to hearing yours. Contact me at feinsodreflections@njsba.org. Follow me on Twitter: @DrLarryFeinsod