covid education

Robinson ISD educators parade through neighborhoods as a way to stay in touch with students while the schools are closed because of the coronavirus. Teachers displayed school colors and many handmade signs reading “We miss you” as students and families watched from their homes.

Many businesses, organizations and individuals in Waco and McLennan County have helped in various ways as people have struggled during the pandemic, whether lifting spirits or providing much-needed assistance.

These are just a few examples of the efforts that have stood out:

• McLennan Community College engineering student Charles Stewart, who made a low-cost face shield for medical personnel using Baylor and MCC 3D printers.

• Balcones Distilling, converting its whiskey making to producing hand sanitizer.

• The Community Resource Pantry coordinated by Grassroots Waco and Prosper Waco, providing care packages to families thanks to donations of food and other items.

• Drive-by school parades to thank students and teachers.

• L3Harris Technologies, which had a team develop a ventilator design to help COVID-19 patients.

• NuTone Cleaners, which pressed graduation gowns for free for seniors during May.

• Creative Waco, starting a fundraiser to help Waco artists, musicians, performers and arts-related businesses.

• Care Net Pregnancy Center, going out to communities to deliver diapers, baby wipes and formula to new mothers.

• Waco ISD Reads program, which has community leaders reading children’s books on video.

• Waco Masks Seamstress for COVID-19 Community Partners Coalition, which thanks to volunteers made and distributed about 20,000 masks.

• United Way and Waco Foundation, who partnered to create the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. It was seeded with $100,000 by corporate partners Allergan Foundation, L3Harris Technologies, Texas Mutual: Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Truist Foundation and Wells Fargo. The first phase of funding went to nonprofits Caritas of Waco, EOAC, Mission Waco and The Salvation Army to provide funds directly to individuals and families in immediate need.

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