Patti’s Hope for Harvey

A HOPE for HARVEY flyer picture with teddy bear, a heart, and a request for donations.

Before HOPE for HARVEY even had a name, Patti, a Quitman Junior High student, watched her television as Hurricane Harvey plowed into Houston, TX. The sixth grader knew that her aunt and uncle and two cousins had moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina displaced the family in 2005. She was worried, and she wondered what she could do.
Patti explains, “I prayed about the safety of all the people there. Then I told my mom that I wanted to do something to help. She said, ‘I’ll do anything to help you.’ Then she told me to talk to Coach Russell.”
Coach Russell is the principal of Quitman Junior High, and after Patti told the building’s secretary that she needed to see him, he asked the sixth grader to write a letter explaining what she needed.

Patti sits with QJH Principal Russell in his office.

“I had the letter written by third period,” she now smiles when she remembers the day.
In the letter, Patti explained her reasons for wanting to offer some relief to the people of Texas, named the idea “HOPE for HARVEY”, and made a heartfelt plea,
I want to not only help my family in Texas, but I would really like to help others as well.
It wasn’t long before she was in Principal Russell’s office, and they were both planning the logistics of Patti’s HOPE for HARVEY.

Patti sits beside her donation box with two blankets donated to the people of Texas.

Within a week Patti sent a letter to all QJH parents, and the teachers of the school sent it home with their students.

Dear Parents,

As we all know, Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas and left hundreds of families devastated. Many lost homes, cars, lives, and so many other things. Many people across the nation have stepped up to assist the families in need. I am passionate about helping those families. My name is Patti, and I am a 6th grader at QJH. I am sending this letter home – because I am going to start a “HOPE FOR HARVEY” relief drive. In this drive, I am asking for all that are able to do so, please donate teddy bears, stuffed animals, blankets, insect repellant, and any non-perishable food items. Why teddy bears and stuffed animals you may ask; well, there were so many children that were traumatized and devastated by Harvey. Some children lost parents and other family members. I would like for the bears and stuffed animals to be of comfort to these children. If you are to donate anything, please do so. Every item, great or small, will be very well appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and help.

                                                                                                        Sincerely,

                                                                                                        Nykeria, “Patti”

Patti’s mom, Nicole, had already asked Pachuta’s Marvin Trotter if he had room in the truck he was using to transport donations to the people of Texas. The two made a plan with Nicole getting the donations to Pachuta and Marvin taking them from there to Texas.A sixth grade student puts a can of beans into the HOPE for HARVEY donation box.

By 7:45 a.m. on September 11th Quitman Junior High students were starting to put items in the HOPE for HARVEY box set up in the school’s entrance.

Patti looked in the box and saw two blankets and a bag of canned goods. She smiled, but she didn’t seem surprised. Maybe because Patti began dreaming and planning and seeing this moment weeks ago. She hoped, and now she and her fellow students are sending that hope to the people of Texas.