LIMA — A former Delphos resident is asking for donations for her school district for students and staff members that have lost everything during Hurricane Harvey.
Paige Ricker, daughter of Dave and Jennifer Ricker, of Delphos, is a teacher in the Houston area that has been hit by Hurricane Harvey. Paige is a 2011 graduate of Delphos Jefferson and a 2015 graduate of Bowling Green State University. She moved to Texas in December 2014 to student teach in Houston and ended up working in Houston at the same district that she student taught in.
There are 78 schools in the Houston district, with almost 10,000 teachers and more than 70,000 students.
Paige is a special education teacher at Stovall Academy, teaching second through fourth grade.
“I do not have the exact specifics on how much damage the school has. But I do know for sure that multiple members of our staff and students have lost their individual homes,” said Ricker.
Ricker is making a plea to her hometown area to send help to her school district for staff and students. Items needed include clothes, shoes, undergarments, baby items, blankets, sheets, toiletries for babies and females and diapers for larger children/adults.
“My goal is try to to get as much stuff as we could and try to distribute it through the school I teach in, and if we got even more, then great, we could distribute it throughout my district to help the families in need,” said Ricker.
This plea for help is not without guilt on her part, as she has not suffered a personal loss. Her heart is full of wanting to provide help and material needs for those that need it.
“I actually was not affected in my apartment. I live on the third floor and I was able to park my car on the grass at my apartment, like I drove over the curb and we parked it in the grass. The water luckily didn’t get to the grass. But there were other people in my apartment complex that live on the first floor and their apartment flooded and there are people that lost their cars in my apartment complex. I just happened to be lucky and got my car off the pavement. I guess that’s why I’m trying so hard to do this because I am at a loss for all the people who have lost something, because here I am and I have everything still and they lost everything. It makes me feel guilty because you just want to help everyone,” said Ricker.
The staff at the Center for Autism and Dyslexia in Lima were diligently working on figuring out how the center could get involved with helping out Hurricane Harvey victims. The older kids at the center had expressed a desire to help.
“We were going to go to the Red Cross,” said Tyler Burkland, director at the Center for Autism and Dyslexia.
A teaching assistant, Morgan Musser, of Delphos, knew Paige Ricker and that she taught special education at Stovall Academy in Houston.
“Once we found out she was from our area and that she was a special education teacher on top of it, we decided to collect items that Ricker said she needed,” said Burkland.
The classes at the Lima school are competing to see which class donates the most. These include Pre-K through grade 12. A letter was sent home to the parents and guardians of the children explaining the collection, which ends Friday, Sept. 8.
“A local man will pick our items up on Friday and deliver them to Houston,” said Burkland.
Ricker explained that her father was planning on taking the day off to bring the donated items to the Houston area.
“The major highways are all open now,” said Ricker. “If someone would be willing to donate their time and drive, they can call my dad, Dave Ricker, at 419-303-6845.”
The public may contribute as well. Drop any of the needed items at the Center for Autism and Dyslexia, 2280 Baton Rouge Ave., Lima.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511