Baylor community helps GW Carver college after devastating fire
By Mariah Bennett | Editor-in-chief
A fire broke out on July 27 at GW Carver Middle School, destroying the building inside and out. Baylor students, faculty and staff wereted no time in collecting help and support for local college students.
Led by Baylor Missions & Public Life and New Student Programs, several Baylor departments and organizations were involved in Load the Tote, a school supplies drive held on campus from August 16-21. These efforts were led by Dr. Doriann Beverly, Senior Coordinator of Community Services at Baylor.
Beverly first heard of the devastating fire after receiving a phone call from her mother, and as a Wacoan with close ties to the Waco community and GW Carver Middle School, she immediately contacted the dean. students from GW Carver Middle School, Elijah. Bare field.
“I asked, ‘What can we do? What can we offer the university to support students and staff? ‘ Beverly said.
Beverly was then put in touch with Transformation Waco, a nonprofit organization that manages and operates five schools and serves the needs of the community. GW Carver Middle School is one of those five schools and the school its students will be placed in for the next school year: Indian Spring Middle School.
Supplies donated to Load the Tote locations and crew members were delivered to Transformation Waco and then given to students. Beverly said she and her team asked what the most needed items were on the list and delivered the best they could.
According to Beverly, the campus response has been swift and positive.
“Immediately, on campus, the response I got from people was, ‘What can we do to help,’ ” things, ” Beverly said. “[There’s] just that spirit of service.
The Load the Tote reader initially consisted of eight bins placed around campus to receive donations, but after so much success and requests for more bins, Beverly said the number quickly grew to 16.
In addition to the donation of school supplies, Baylor Missions and New Student Programs donated more than 2,100 washable masks and 1,200 reusable water bottles, according to Beverly and Baylor Missions Facebook. These specific donations made up for the precedents lost in the fire.
Other departments also contributed, including the President’s Office, Marketing and Communications, Visiting Experiences in Undergraduate Admissions, and External Affairs.
As of August 23, total campaign donations reached 2,295 wrapped items, with approximately 6,602 individual items among those wrapped.
Other members of the Baylor community contributed their own donations. Hellen Chen, an electrical engineering graduate student, led a clothing drive that ended Aug. 9 for the school’s resource closets, which needed to be restocked. Some items included new or lightly worn T-shirts, tennis shoes and sweatpants. This campaign was promoted on Engineers with a Mission’s Instagram, a club of which she was a former member and which had connections to students at GW Carver Middle School.
According to Chen, she used her own connections with the school, from peers to teachers, to place bins on campus for the clothing drive.
Chen said that something that touched her was “to see how much people wanted to help given the opportunity.”
“We don’t want these tragedies to happen,” Chen said. “This is an opportunity for us to show that we care about ourselves because we want others to know that there is a love greater than that of our Christian communities or our Baylor communities.”
To continue supporting students and staff at GW Carver Middle School, students can donate to Transformation Waco’s GW Carver disaster relief initiative. Transformation Waco accepts electronic and postal gift cards as well as teacher wishlist items dedicated to providing specific teacher supplies.