April 22, 2016

“Families affected by the tornado have so many things to worry about in this community right now. Our part is to make sure they get the school supplies.” – Dave Smith, Executive Director

Almost a year ago, in May of 2015, a devastating storm system tore through Texas and Arkansas. The town of Van, Texas, 90 minutes east of Dallas, was struck by a deadly tornado late one evening that tore through the small community, destroying several homes with hundreds of people taking shelter in a local church. If that wasn’t enough, elementary school J.E. Rhodes was completely destroyed, and Van Intermediate was severely damaged. Because of the severity, students are taking classes from portable classrooms for the next school year while the schools are being rebuilt.

With a community in desperate need of help, the Kids In Need Foundation partnered with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores to provide students with school supplies, getting them excited about returning to school.

  • Working with the district and principals, 2,900 pounds of school supplies were distributed.
  • Between the two schools, 765 kids received new backpacks filled with supplies to help them return to a normal routine as they continue to move forward in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
  • With help from members from the nearby Jo-Ann location, a backpack assembly was coordinated at each school. This allowed for the students to receive their new items during a fun celebration event, with the local media invited to capture the special moment.

Natural disasters tear through communities, families, and lives. With our Second Responder® program, the Kids In Need Foundation looks to replace a little bit of what has been lost. When everything you know and love has been destroyed, something as simple as a backpack, or a notebook of your very own, makes a tremendous difference.