Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Cross-city connections bring smiles to students, one fuzzy hug at a time

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston (RMHC-GHG) is generously donating a ‘fuzzy’ type of kindness to students in Spring Branch ISD.

Many cross-city connections are making it possible for the charity to donate several thousand stuffed animals to bring joy to elementary students in our district: 

  1. RMHC-GHG is the charity partner of the PetSmart store on S. Shepherd Drive. In the store, there is a location for customers to donate stuffed animals to be given to children in need.
  2. Through a connection with the Spring Branch ISD’s Central Warehouse team, Karen LeFleur, RMHC-GHG Communications Director, delivers donated stuffed animals to the warehouse.
  3. Mary Pizana, Spring Branch ISD Coordinator of Community Services and Mentoring Programs, sorts and labels boxes of stuffed animals at the warehouse, based on the quantities requested by each school.
  4. The warehouse staff then distributes the toys to Communities in Schools (CIS) Student Support Managers at 20 elementary schools around the district.
  5. CIS team members distribute the stuffed animals to students in their care, which for some students, may be the only gift they receive. 

“We were overwhelmed by the generosity of PetSmart’s customers,” LeFleur said. “The Houston community once again answered the call for help, enthusiastically giving stuffed animals for children in need. We are grateful to PetSmart, and we are honored to have the opportunity to work with Spring Branch ISD to ensure these stuffed animals make their way to children who will love them. We can accomplish amazing things together.” 

Recently, 140 students at Spring Shadows and Buffalo Creek elementary schools received fuzzy new friends. Their smiles reflect the joy that this unique collaboration has generated, one hug at a time.

“Our primary job in the Central Warehouse is customer service for campuses and students,” Wayne Schaper Jr., Manager of Purchasing and Logistics, said. “We are happy for the opportunity to receive and distribute the stuffed animal donations to make the holidays a little brighter for some students.”

“Any time we can share the love, we want to do that!” Schaper said.

Thank you, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston, PetSmart customers, Spring Branch ISD Central Warehouse staff, Mary Pizana and Communities in Schools Student Support Managers for the Collaborative Spirit you have put into action to benefit students in Spring Branch ISD. Generosity and kindness are the ties that bind.