The DeSoto community raised nearly $100,000 to replace masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protection equipment for schools after a warehouse fire in August.
A structural fire on the morning of Aug. 27 destroyed the DeSoto Independent School District's main warehouse storing supplies. Among the inventory lost was the PPE recently shipped by the Texas Education Agency.
School officials thanked the community Tuesday for the replacement donations.
Some of the replaced items include hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and other equipment that help keep students and staff safe while inside campus buildings.
Tammy Reed says once her team learned about the fire in August, "We switched straight into 'how can we help' mode."
Reed is a regional sales director for SSC Services for Education, a company that has been in partnership with Desoto ISD the past four years.
SSC Services donated 900 gallons of hand sanitizer, 15,000 disposable gloves and 63 infrared thermometers.
Atmos Energy donated $5,000 to the DeSoto ISD Education Foundation to fund grants for teachers. The energy company also donated 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.
Some of the other businesses that donated include:
- Tradition Energy
- Plano based Toyota
- Nine Band Brewing Co. in Allen
- Medcillary in Dallas
- Ricca Chemicals in Arlington
- Austin Emergency Supply Foundation
While DeSoto ISD was working on another project with the Dallas Mavericks and the Mavs Foundation, the subject of the fire came up as the delivery location needed to be changed.
The Mavericks then offered additional assistance in the form of hand sanitizer and masks.
In addition to businesses, individuals also helped, including Plano ISD high school counselor Monica Trevino.
Trevino started a drive to help replenish some of the supplies.
“I just couldn’t imagine having to come back to my school without appropriate PPE supplies," Trevino said.
Desoto Mayor Pro Tem Kenzie Moore III said city councilmembers are happy to see how their city reacted to this situation.
"It's very important when things happen in the city to see how that city responds to the needs of its community," Moore said. "You stepped up. You have brought something to the community that makes us all proud."
Although DeSoto ISD schools had already planned to open virtually, the district says there was an expectation that the campuses would eventually be open to in-person instruction and that these supplies would be mandatory.
Replacement costs were estimated to be more than $80,000. Desoto ISD says this was a major blow to the budget for a district trying to handle its finances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district quickly started to receive donations from people in Desoto, and as of Tuesday, all of the destroyed PPE has been replaced.