KINGWOOD, Texas (FOX 26) - Kingwood-area high school teachers who were affected by flooding from Hurricane Harvey are getting some much needed financial help thanks to the efforts of one mother.
“I just felt like everyone was focusing on the students and no one was thinking about the teachers,” says Ann Marie Sayegh.
Shortly after the hurricane, Sayegh developed the idea of making t-shirts that say "Kingwood Strong” and donating all proceeds to the teachers at Kingwood High School where her two daughters attend. The school was closed due to flooding following Hurricane Harvey, forcing teachers to instruct at another school.
“The teachers have to drive, teachers have families and teachers have flooded homes,” said Sayegh. She placed a small order of shirts and posted on Facebook, saying they were for sale. The distributor gave her a good deal. She was able to sell the shirts for $10 and give $5 to teachers, keeping nothing for herself. The response was immense.
“It has just spread like a wildfire,” said Sayegh. “We’re up to 1,800 shirts.”
The shirts were so in demand that Sayegh could no longer operate out of her house. On Friday, she set up shop at her friend’s business, Kingwood Garden Center.
“I think it was probably more our idea, like, we’ll help you," said Robby Bezner, the owner of Kingwood Garden Center. "We can sell these. I’ve got a store front. And then one thing turned to another, and her sales of these shirts are through the roof.”
The operation has grown large enough to help teachers at other schools too.
“I’ve received numerous emails, letters in the mail thanking us, but it’s the community that’s doing it,” says Sayegh. She also says she has asked schools for the names of teachers affected by flooding. She plans to deliver cash envelopes to those teachers in a week or so.