Today's Paper Obits Weather Community Calendar
story.lead_photo.caption Norphlet Middle School Principal Keith Coleman and teacher Kim Stanton pose with a sign that reads “Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas. Be a hero. Donate today. Period 6.”

Local schools are raising money and collecting supplies for evacuees, primarily in south Texas, who were affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the storm first made landfall in Texas Friday and after touching the Lone Star State a second time the following day, Harvey wreaked havoc in Louisiana Wednesday. Over 30 storm-related deaths have been reported while 17 are being investigated, according to the Associated Press.

Much of the publicized relief campaigns promote sending relief funds to the Red Cross. According to the organization’s website, there’s a local office in El Dorado located at 501 S. Timberlane Drive. Because the office is staffed by volunteers, donors are advised to call 870-863-8196 before stopping by.

Students at Norphlet Middle School are raising funds that the Student Council with hopes to go a local Red Cross site “and deliver a check to them.” English teacher Kim Stanton said.

“These people need help so what we’re doing is a competition between the sixth period classes. We have jars and the kids are bringing coins, dollars, whatever to fill their coin jar by Friday, Sept. 8 and then the class that raises the most money percentage wise will get a cookie party,” Stanton said. “It’s not a whole lot to it. It’s just something to help out because these people are in bad shape.”

Stanton said that the drive will be a great idea because most NMS Buckaroos “are bus riders and it’s hard for them to bring bottles of water or big things of diapers.” People who would like to contribute to the drive can turn in money to the school’s administrative assistant Amanda Arnold or to a teacher personally.

Smackover High School students and faculty are “coming together to help our neighbors

in the south Texas area” through a relief drive led by sports medicine instructor Morgan McDaniel-Atkins.

“Monday morning a large group of my sports medicine students were discussing Harvey’s aftermath and trying to come up with ways to help those in its path,” McDaniel-Atkins said. “We then decided a disaster relief drive would be beneficial. The drive is scheduled (through) Sept. 8, but we are able to collect and distribute items at any time.”

The SHS teacher coordinating with former Buckaroo J.D. Martin, a first responder who lives in Humble, Texas, to transport supplies to evacuees, she said. Those who want to donate to the drive can send items with a student or bring them to the SHS office, according to announcement posted on The Buckaroo Blog.

Barton Junior High principal Sherry Hill said that art can comfort people, especially children, in times of distress.

“As part of our Barton Gives Back program, the BJHS Art Department is collecting art supplies to send to Texas for the flood victims who are in shelters and to help with the reopening of schools. We (also) will be raising money to help restock a school classroom,” Hill said.

For more information about any of these relief efforts, call the school’s main office.

Brittany Williams can be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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