SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The flood waters from Hurricane Harvey are going down, but certainly not the need or the love being shown by an incredible group of students here in the Valley.
Since the hurricane came ashore, the kids and their families at the Great Hearts Academies wanted to do their part.
Great Hearts communications director Bill Odell said a community member saw television footage of an airdrop of supplies being conducted in the greater Houston area recently.
The need, they concluded, was still pressing, so students and parents organized a 24-hour Harvey Relief Flash Drive across the 23 Great Hearts Phoenix campuses.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, the flood of support quickly grew. Everything from non-perishable food to diapers and cleaning supplies filled Great Hearts' cafeterias. By noon, administrators for the charter school estimated that the kids and their families had collected over 20,000 pounds of precious, relief items.
"A lot of families and others, in their own way, have been supporting the flood victims in Texas," Odell said. "But I think after the success of this, we've proved that we can do something in a quick manner to help out."
Getting the supplies to those in need as quickly as possible was another magnanimous effort on behalf of the school. Organizers first arranged for a Phoenix moving company, Just in Time Moving, to provide moving trucks to collect the donated goods and deliver it to an airplane hangar belonging to Ross Aviation at the Scottsdale Airpark. Both companies donated their services and equipment to the donation effort.
Odell said the school then arranged for the its donation to be part of a larger airlift of goods and materials being conducted by a squadron of volunteer pilots and their aircraft called AERObridge.
According to Great Hearts Academies, the first plane is scheduled leave Scottsdale for Beaumont, Texas Thursday, and then head into Port Arthur, Texas. It will take a total of 12 planes and one truck to deliver all of the goods. They say everything should be in Port Arthur by Sept. 9.