Local group gathering donations for LISD staff, teachers

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Lewisville ISD teachers and staff have received gift cards and other donations from local businesses (photo courtesy of Manu Shahi).

A local community group recently formed to brighten the day for Lewisville ISD teachers and staff as they work to conduct school virtually.

Manu Shahi said that several weeks ago, she saw a lot of negative posts on social media regarding the district’s decision to begin the school year offering virtual-only learning for students.

“I said ‘I see a lot of stress on here, but nothing about doing anything about it for teachers or staff,'” Shahi said. “‘They never got a summer break, is there something we can do for them?'”

Shahi said messages began pouring in from teachers saying they appreciated the support, and other community members saying they wanted to do something. Seven people — Shahi, Ashish Puri, Pam Flores, Sowamya Sambamoorthy, Pam C, Viji Rajagopal and Urvashi Soni — launched a new group and brainstormed how they wanted to show their support.

“We’re very focused on boosting teachers and staff’s morale,” Shahi said.

Local Chick-Fil-A restaurants donated $5,600 in gift cards to be distributed to Lewisville ISD teachers and staff (photo courtesy of Manu Shahi).

The group began calling local businesses to see if they could donate anything or offer discounts for LISD staff and teachers. Sip Stir Coffee in Highland Village donated $1,000 in gift cards, many businesses offered discounts or deals and both Flower Mound Chick-Fil-A locations donated thousands in gift cards — one donated $3,000 and the other gave $2,500. One resident donated 150 homemade masks, and a pharmacy donated 150 bottles of hand sanitizer, and those items were distributed among schools in Lewisville on Friday.

Also on Friday, some group members brought some Chick-Fil-A gift cards to the LISD tech department. The district has encountered many technological issues since school started virtually on Wednesday, and the group wanted to make those working to fix the problems a reason to smile.

“The tech department was in tears when we gave it to them today,” Shahi said. “One lady said she wanted to give us a hug.”

The group — which is called¬†Community Support for LISD Teachers and Staff on Facebook and uses the hashtag #Care4LISD — is moving to a second phase of support, where it will create a fundraiser page to collect online donations to be used for top needs of the district, or for schools that don’t have PTAs.

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About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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