The response was overwhelming! Just as the summer came to an end and schools began to prepare to open, the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico began to take form, producing three record-setting storms. Hurricane Harvey, the first of these, slammed into the southeastern coast of Texas, bringing devastating wind, rain, and floods. Houston and surrounding areas saw unprecedented flooding, which affected not only residences and businesses but churches and schools as well. The Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools stepped up to support affected schools in Texas. Many of those schools were paired with unaffected schools from Louisiana to Arizona. St. Michael’s partner school, Holy Spirit Episcopal School, has now become our sister school. Our community has risen to the call.
Since the beginning of September, St. Michael’s has been collecting gift cards and raising money to support Holy Spirit Episcopal School in Houston. This K-8 school is similar to St. Michael’s, and so it has been easy to imagine how we would feel if a similar natural disaster happened here. Seeing pictures of the devastation and hearing the stories of community support have touched us. We have offered prayers, words of encouragement, pictures of compassion, and now gifts that will help people to rebuild. This week we will send over $2,500 in gift cards to our sister school which will be distributed to families affected by Hurricane Harvey in their community. Our carwash alone raised more than $1,500 for the cause, drawing support from both the school and parish community. Our hearts have been filled with gratitude for the generosity and compassion shown by the St. Michael’s community. Truly, it will make a difference for many.
And that, my friends, is what compassion is about. Compassion is to suffer with, to share the burden, to feel what someone else feels, to reach out in kindness and with care for another person. Our students come to understand compassion on many levels. When a friend skins a knee, one knows how that feels and can reach out with care. If words sometimes hurt feelings, we know how that feels, and amends can be made. When disappointment and loss make us sad, others reach out because they have perhaps experienced that as well. Compassion results in people reaching out to people to make a difference. It comes from the heart. Compassion reaches across boundaries to make lives better. When we can respond from the heart, healing begins. The compassion shown by the St. Michael’s community to the Holy Spirit community has now established a bond that extends beyond the immediate need. Together we have come to understand the value of compassion. The gift cards are a tangible reminder of a more priceless gift that comes from our heart. Thank you, St. Michael’s! Yet again, our community is making our world a better place.
Head of School