NORMAN — Buckner Westminster Place, a senior living community in Longview, Texas, collected books and monetary donations for the teacher’s classrooms of the Moore elementary schools that were recently destroyed by tornadoes.
They collected more than 1,500 books and about $800 in monetary donations. On Monday morning, Wes Wells, executive director at Buckner Westminster Place, and Blake Lambert, marketing director at Buckner Westminster Place, hand-delivered the books to Eastlake Church in Oklahoma City. Teachers and children from Briarwood Elementary School were at the church to accept the donations.
Buckner Westminster Place teamed up with a program called Moore Books for Moore Kids and hosted a 10-day book drive to assist the rebuilding of the elementary teachers’ libraries in Moore. Former teachers who reside at the senior living community were actively involved with the project and hope they can encourage others in east Texas to help contribute.
“I feel for the families and children in Oklahoma that have lost so much,” said Mary Frances Farris, a retired teacher and resident at Buckner Westminster Place. “I am all in favor of doing anything we can to help them. I have ties in Oklahoma and have been there many times. My husband and I both have families there and used to take our children there all the time.
“I think the books are a great idea because children really cherish books and love being read to. My aunt used to give us books for Christmas each year, and my favorite one was ‘Pinocchio.’ I used to teach school in north Texas and I still volunteer to read at local elementary schools on occasion.”
Buckner Westminster Place opened the drive June 20 and closed it June 30.
The drive will benefit children who attend Plaza Towers and Briarwood elementary schools, whose classroom libraries were destroyed by the May 20 tornado.
“We feel for the children, teachers and families in Oklahoma that lost everything due to the recent tornado disaster,” Wells said. “When we were considering different ways we could help out, we came across the Moore Books for Moore Kids program and immediately wanted to participate.
“There are many retired teachers who reside in the community and many other residents that just love kids. This seemed like the perfect way for us to give back and help others.”