Schools, community benefit from holiday giving efforts

January 3, 2018

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Holmsley Elementary School Principal Ana Diaz (right) and Counselor Deborah Gant (black top) pose with Celebration Lutheran Church staff and volunteers after the school’s long-time Adopt-a-School partner delivered 13 bags of food Dec. 20 for Holmsley families in need. Shelli Williamson (white top), minister of community and servant life, hold a check for $1,000 the church also donated to Holmsley.

Jan. 3, 2018—CFISD students closed the fall semester by experiencing the joy of both giving and receiving during the holiday season through school and business partnerships and volunteer efforts.

Copeland Elementary School continued its long-standing tradition – now in its 25th year – of collecting new, unwrapped toys from its students and family members with all of the gifts going to Texas Children’s Hospital.

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Copeland Elementary School students arrange toys to make room for more under the school’s Christmas tree on Dec. 21 as part of Copeland’s 25-year tradition of collecting new, unwrapped toys from its students and family members with all of the gifts going to Texas Children’s Hospital.

In two sections, students filed past a Christmas tree on the school’s stage, leaving their gifts while the choir sang on Dec. 21. Once each class delivered their gifts, which overflowed from under the tree, students, staff and visitors participated in a sing-along of various holiday songs.

“These children are so awesome,” Copeland Principal Ann Melancon said. “They look forward to this all year long and this is the perfect way for them to give. It allows the parents to set up for the parties but it also keeps the kids very entertained by the choir. They all come with their gifts that day, they circle in and come back so we can entertain them.”

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Copeland Elementary School students sing holiday songs alongside the school choir, staff members and visitors as part of Copeland’s 25-year tradition of collecting new, unwrapped toys from its students and family members with all of the gifts going to Texas Children’s Hospital.

Holmsley Elementary School received generous donations for students and families in need on Dec. 20 from its Adopt-a-School partner Celebration Lutheran Church.

Church staff members delivered 13 bags of food for families in need, with each personalized not only in the food selected but also by the written notes attached to each bag.

“Our relationship with Holmsley has a been a blessing from the very start and this is a life-giving experience for the members of our community as well as those here at the school,” said Shelli Williamson, minister of community and servant life. “We primarily have done a lot of work with Backpack Buddies and we have a dedicated group of six drivers that rotate throughout the course of the year. It’s so meaningful to bring food to those who are hungry so that is one of the big things.”

In addition, the church gave the school a check for $1,000.

“It’s just a blessing because they do so many meaningful things,” Holmsley Principal Ana Diaz said. “We’re just blessed by having them and having that connection – the relationships that we’ve built with them are beyond just being an adoption. It’s a personal connection because we know them and we see them.”

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Swenke and Lieder elementary school staff members and volunteers display many of the bicycles that were donated by Swenke families to Lieder families in need Dec. 19, a giving effort in its fifth year. The bicycles were among the toys donated.

For a fifth consecutive year, Swenke Elementary School families sponsored families from Lieder Elementary School. Among the toys and donations delivered Dec. 19 included bicycles.

“To have the outreach and support of another campus in our district is just phenomenal,” said Dr. Karen Stockton, Lieder principal. “It’s just another way of showing that Cy-Fair is the most awesome community.”

The giving extended beyond the schools as CFPD donated proceeds from its Masquerade Ball on Dec. 16 toward new bicycles to give to students at Lamkin Elementary School. Officers delivered the 11 new bicycles four days later, which included Chief Eric Mendez taking a celebratory spin before the surprise.

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CFISD police department officers and command staff join Lamkin Elementary School students who were the recipients of new bicycles at the school on Dec. 20.

“It was amazing. They love it and we love it,” said CFPD Officer Stacey Berryman. “Our whole approach is community policing. It’s important for us as the school district police department to be involved with the kids. They look up to us. We don’t want them to just look at us as the police. We want them to look at us as friends, counselors (and) maybe even as moms and dads if they need that in their lives.”

Cypress Creek High School and its student council made over 200 holiday cards for seniors at the Orchard Park apartment complex and collected three boxes of pajamas in addition to raising more than $500 for Texas Children’s Hospital’s PJ Day fundraiser. The Cougars also donated more than 50 toys to Operation Stocking Stuffer at a local fire station and 164 pounds of non-perishable food items to NAM (Northwest Assistance Ministries).

Various student groups at Cypress Woods High School organized events. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) hosted Operation Shoebox and collected items for troops. The student council hosted a Heart of the Wood Drive, collecting battery-operated lights, batteries, hand sanitizer, wipes, mosquito-repellant candles, flashlights and lanterns for individuals and families in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. Theater hosted a toy drive, while the Leadership Academy collected travel-sized toiletries to donate to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The Wildcats choir participated in Wreaths Across America at the Houston National Cemetery on Dec. 16, as students volunteered to place wreaths on the grave sites of fallen veterans.

Keith Elementary School families and Frazier Elementary School Adopt-a-School partner Flotek Industries came together for the Frazier Express on Dec. 20. The donors purchased and hand-delivered gifts to 42 families in need.

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Volunteers load gifts and food supplies into cars to deliver to Frazier Elementary School families during the Frazier Express on Dec. 20. A total of 42 families were impacted by the generosity of Keith Elementary School and business partner Flotek.

“We really do think it’s all about the kids,” said John Chisholm, CEO and president of Flotek. “Frazier Elementary School is close to our research center and corporate office. We have a group of folks at Flotek who devote a fair amount of their time on different functions at Frazier, whether it’s different events or something like this at Christmas time. We just think it’s important to let these kids know that people other than their parents care about them.”

Staff at Adam Elementary School partnered with community members and volunteers from Cypress United Methodist Church to put together and host a Holiday Gift Shop for students on Dec. 18. Items and gifts were collected and wrapped for the students, who used their S.O.A.R. bucks, which are awarded throughout the year for being Safe, On task, Accountable and Respectful.

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Holbrook Elementary School students walk through tables set up with numerous gifts. Through the countless donations, the ‘holiday shop’ was made available for the students.

A. Robison Elementary School families adopted Walker Elementary School families in need for the first year, delivering gifts to the campus on Dec. 18. A. Robison was able to help more than 40 families in need with the generous donations.

“Robison will always hold a special place in my heart after spending many years there,” said Kim Dameron, Walker principal. “I’ve enjoyed watching their kids grow. This to me is the best gift by far ever. Thanks to the Robison community, families and staff.”

Students at Holbrook Elementary School were treated to a ‘Holiday Shop,’ with numerous gifts made available through Caldwell Companies, Caterpillar Oil and Gas, PrimeWay Federal Credit Union, Region IV Education Service Center, Staples, Towne Lake residents, Holbrook staff and other donors.

On Dec. 20, representative from RNB Construction partnered with Greater True Faith Missionary Baptist Church to host a toy giveaway for Holbrook students.

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Holbrook Elementary School fifth-grade student Leslie Velasco poses with a representative with RNB Construction during a toy giveaway Dec. 20 at Greater True Faith Missionary Baptist Church. The two CFISD community partners teamed up to host a toy giveaway for numerous Holbrook students.

The Salyards Middle School SEW 2 SERVE sewing club made Christmas stockings for second-grade students in CFISD. The school’s choir elves donated numerous gifts to students at Owens Elementary School.

The student council at Postma Elementary School hosted a food drive to give back to Cy-Hope’s Backpark Buddy Program. Now in its fifth year, Postma families donated more than 2,500 items. Theresa Lynn’s first-grade class led the way by combining to donate 1,391 items.

Four families at Black Elementary School were awarded a box of donated toys through the school’s Free family Christmas/Learning night. Set up by the school’s PTO, the remaining donations went to students at M. Robinson Elementary School.

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The SEW 2 SERVE sewing club at Salyards Middle School made Christmas stockings for a number of second-grade CFISD students.

Kirk Elementary School students continued their tradition of visiting EagleBurgmann and its company’s site in Jersey Village on Dec. 15 to perform songs for employees during a holiday luncheon. EagleBurgmann, in turn, gave gifts to more than 30 families.

The school put together its PBIS store before the holidays, collecting items which students could purchase with their ‘Kirk Cash.” In addition, more than $4,000 in gift cards were given to families at Kirk from donations across the country.

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The ‘elves’ from the Salyards Middle School choir collected toys and gifts and delivered them to students at Owens Elementary School.

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Postma Elementary School first-grade teacher Theresa Lynn (back) stands with her students with the nearly 1,400 food items they helped collect as part of the school’s food drive to give back to Cy-Hope’s Backpack Buddy Program. Postma donated more than 2,500 items.

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