WACO, Texas — A month ago, many teachers and staff members from G.W. Carver Middle School lost everything after a fire claimed the historic school and all that was inside.
Four weeks and a few acts of kindness later, many have been able to replace much of what was lost.
Paige Stanford, a G.W. Carver ESL and English teacher, was one of those that lost everything she had in her classroom.
This week, she started in a new school, in a new classroom and with new supplies, thanks to some help from the community.
"My kids today, they were like, 'Ms., do you see all this stuff? Did all of this come from people?' and I'm like, 'All of this came from people,'" Stanford said.
After the July fire, Transformation Waco set up a disaster relief page with links to Carver teacher classroom wish lists.
Between individual and corporate donations, Transformation Waco said on Friday it now has enough money to clear all of the wish list items.
"I think the best thing about it to look at the teachers and say, 'You are not alone. The community feels your pain and the community is here to help you,'" said Transformation Waco CEO Robin McDurham.
There was even more good news for staff on Friday after school. Indian Spring and Carver teachers were able to pick up supplies from a cafeteria full of additional donations from Baylor and other donors.
"There's just so much stuff, and I'm so appreciative and it's beyond words sometimes the things that we've been given," teacher William Taylor said.
As they filled their bags, Indian Spring and Carver teachers celebrated the end of their first week as a combined campus and the generosity of strangers.
"It feels like family," teacher Karen Perry said. "I've only lived in the area for a year and it's where I'm going to make my home, just from the reactions and the generosity of the community."
While wish lists are being fulfilled and they get settled in, there are still plenty of things that staff members could use.
If you would like to help support G.W. Carver Middle School teachers as they continue to recover from the fire, visit Transformation Waco's website for links to Amazon wish lists and directions for donating gift cards.