- New Caney ISD
United Way and Entergy Donate School Supplies to NCISD Helping Hands Closet
United Way of Greater Houston partnered with Entergy to donate $25,000 worth of school supplies to help NCISD families in need.
New Caney ISD Helping Hands Closet
On October 6, the New Caney ISD Helping Hands Closet received a donation of school supplies from United Way of Greater Houston and Entergy. The donation, totaling approximately $25,000, is a part of a larger initiative started by United Way and Entergy to alleviate the pressure to buy school supplies on families and teachers in all six Montgomery County school districts—Conroe ISD, Magnolia ISD, Montgomery ISD, New Caney ISD, Splendora ISD, and Willis ISD.
“Back-to-school needs can be costly, especially when many families in our communities are already facing financial challenges,” said Eliecer Viamontes, president and CEO of Entergy Texas. “By partnering with United Way of Greater Houston, we’re able to ease the burden of school supply shopping for teachers, students and families, providing the foundation for a strong education and a brighter future.”
Because of the district’s rapid growth, United Way, Entergy, and New Caney ISD felt that the donation, which consisted of backpacks, pens, pencils, and notebooks, among other school supplies, would have the greatest impact through the Helping Hands Closet.
The NCISD Helping Hands Closet is a continuously evolving resource for New Caney ISD families in need. The closet is a center that provides students and families with necessities such as clothes, food, and school supplies. Starting from a few boxes in an office in 2015, the closet has grown over the years to fill an entire building with donations from community members and organizations.
School supplies donated by United Way and Entergy
According to Kelly Johnson, Homeless, Foster Care, and Military Connected Student Liaison, the Helping Hands Closet started out of necessity.
“We just felt there was a need,” Johnson said. “There were people calling us and asking, ‘Where can we get clothes?’, ‘Where can we get food,’ so we found donations.”
The Helping Hands Closet is constantly accepting donations. In the past, the closet has partnered with large organizations such as Walmart and Kroger. It currently has an ongoing partnership with the Montgomery County Food Bank, but mostly relies on the community for clothing and supplies.
With the district growing so rapidly, the Helping Hands Closet has seen a continuous increase in families needing resources.
“This year it has blown up,” Johnson said. “We usually have approximately 12 families every Tuesday and Thursday.”
Title I Secretary Brooke Lee agrees, stating that in the last week of July 2023 alone, the Helping Hands Closet served over 54 families and approximately 130 students.
With such a large influx of students and families using the Helping Hands Closet, donations are vital in keeping it open.
Inside the New Caney ISD Helping Hands Closet
The large donation from United Way will serve many families in New Caney ISD, allowing students and families to focus on their education without the burden of purchasing supplies.
“We want these kids to succeed,” Johnson said. “We want them to feel like they can go to school and not stand out because of their clothes or lack of supplies.”
Both New Caney ISD and United Way can agree, helping students reach their full potential is the ultimate goal.
“[This partnership] is a wonderful illustration of United Way’s mission to connect people with possibility,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. “Education creates possibility, so whether it’s after-school programs or school supplies, we want to help young people succeed.”
The Helping Hands Closet is located at 20380 FM 1485 West, New Caney, TX 77357. The closet is open to take donations and assist families on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 3:30pm. For more information, email the Helping Hands Closet at NCISDHelpingHandsCloset@newcaneyisd.org.