September 14, 2017
Kisha Logan, a former Houston resident who now lives in Maryland, arranges personal hygiene supplies during a donation drive Sept. 13 at Cypress Springs High School. Logan joined four other women as a part of DMV Cares, an organization from the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area that filled a 16-foot moving truck with supplies and delivered them to multiple Houston-area locations.
Sept. 14, 2017—It started as a simple post on Facebook.
It ended – at least its first chapter – with boxes upon boxes of supplies and donations filling up a hallway inside Cypress Springs High School for Panther students and their families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The DMV Cares donation drive wasn’t just supplies, as 2-year-old Kaylee Albert (center) walked away with toys, cartoon-themed bandages and a decorative purse. DMV Cares also donated cases of water and gift cards to Cypress Springs High School students and their families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Stacey Ross didn’t want to just donate money to an organization or ship supplies across the country. She wanted to see those donations reach those who needed them the most.
So DMV Cares was born, getting its name from Washington “D.C., Maryland and Virginia” area, where Ross and four other long-time friends live and came together to turn this idea into action. And a two-day trip to the Houston soon followed, making its first stop in CFISD after Ross and Cypress Springs Principal, Dr. Cheryl Henry were connected on social media.
Cypress Springs High School Principal Dr. Cheryl Henry (blue top) poses with Sheba Halliburton (left), Kisha Logan, Venita Stratford, Erica Stone-Roy and Stacey Ross of DMV Cares, an organization that started as an idea to help families affected by Hurricane Harvey and resulted in a 16-foot moving truck with supplies delivered and donated to the Panther community Sept. 13.
“People couldn’t believe that we were going to drive down here and put it in people’s hands. Do it face to face,” Ross said. “All of the donations here (and) all the donations still on the truck for other stops we did in three hours.”
A friend of Dr. Henry’s from her time in California connected the two on Facebook. Once on board with the idea, Henry and her staff did a need assessment of the students, allowing them and their families to input exactly what they needed. The bulk of the needs were cleaning supplies and toiletries.
Food was also a need, so gift cards were added to the list.
Stacey Ross stands in front of the 16-foot moving truck she helped drive from Maryland to Cypress Springs High School. An idea to help families affected by Hurricane Harvey sparked Ross to send out an inquiry on social media, which connected her with the CFISD school and created DMV Cares.
DMV Cares organized four drop-off locations to fill a moving truck, though a snag in the originally planning (no truck) nearly caused the group to push back its delivery. Dr. Henry said she would be perfectly fine if the supplies came at a later date, but that wasn’t good enough for Ross.
“This past [Sept. 10] – just a couple days ago – I had to figure out a way to get this stuff down here because I made a promise,” said Ross, who was able to secure a 16-foot moving truck at the 11th hour. “It’s been blessing after blessing.”
Two ladies made the two-day drive, while the other three flew. They arrived Sept. 13, reaching Cypress Springs in the afternoon where members of the football team were on hand to unload supplies while the girls soccer team arranged and organized donations in a hallway just outside the main gym.
Chief M.Sgt. Michael Galifaro (left), a Cypress Springs High School AFJROTC and aerospace science instructor, helps Azalia De Leon load her van with supplies distributed at the school by DMV Cares, an organization that drove a 16-foot moving track loaded with donations from Maryland to Houston to support families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Doors officially opened at 3 p.m. and one by one, students, parents and families made their way down the long hallway, going table to table and filling large trash bags with anything they wanted and needed.
“It’s amazing and just a blessing that people with such a big heart want to do something,” said Dr. Henry, who’s school has also partnered with at least two other high schools across the country, an action seen across the Houston area in the days following the hurricane. “We’ve been reaching out to our families ever since the disaster began to find out what they needed, and we’ve been able to put something together. The thing is, it’s going to keep happening – people are going to still need things.
“We just want to be able to help someone when they ask for help.”
Kisha Logan, a former Houston resident who now lives in Maryland, assists families during a donation drive Sept. 13 at Cypress Springs High School. Logan joined four other women as a part of DMV Cares, an organization from the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area that filled a 16-foot moving truck with supplies and delivered them to multiple Houston-area locations.
Ross and her crew of ladies, to which three go back to elementary school, were able to provide some of that help. Strangers just a few days ago, the drive ended with hugs all the way around between DMV Cares and the Cypress Springs staff before the truck made its way to League City, Dickinson and the Salvation Army.
“We never once thought this was too big or we should quit,” Ross said. “It was definitely worth the effort.”