Dear DSEF Family,
Over the past six weeks our world has drastically changed. Some days it feels surreal – I’m sure you can relate. Despite these feelings,
we have been uplifted by the commitment of DSISD to continue excellent education in Dripping Springs and the resiliency and creativity of the business community. Given the extra time we’ve enjoyed (mostly!) with our families has given me time to reflect on other relationships that I value.
You, our DSEF donors, definitely come to mind!
We are so fortunate to have the constant support of so many in the Dripping Springs community. From teachers who contribute monthly from their paychecks, to small businesses who are always so faithful in donating to our silent auction, to parents who invest in Student Leadership grants and ALL IN partners who have supported the Mental Health Services Initiative,
we are grateful for every single contribution made over the past year to support the important work of the Education Foundation.
Motivated by your belief in us, we have worked hard to continue to be relevant in supporting educators and students during this unprecedented time. We wanted to provide an update to you because we know that you care!
- We were fortunate enough to have secured a Paycheck Protection Program loan through the Small Business Administration. This loan will give us the flexibility to meet our payroll while continuing to invest funds raised from the Denim & Diamonds Gala to the areas that are needed most at this time. We’d like to specifically recognize Texas Regional Bank for walking us through this process and helping us prepare.
- We have partnered with a local initiative, Drippin’ with Support - All In Y’all, to uplift the small business community. We recognize that small businesses are a huge part of the Dripping Springs Education Foundation. Hundreds of businesses support our mission each year and we felt now was a time we could support them in a big way. DSEF was able to provide ALL IN yard signs to the initiative with the Drippin’ for Support logo added, for households to show their support and commitment to getting businesses through this crisis. We have all pledged to continue shopping local through to-go orders, gift card purchases, and more. If you’d like a yard sign please check out Drippin’ with Support’s Facebook page.
- We are continuing to evaluate and award Student Leadership Grants. We were impressed by the submissions we received and will work with students and their faculty sponsors to have these grants funded and implemented as soon as it is safe to do so.
- We were approached by DSHS about supporting our seniors during this difficult and perhaps deflating season of their lives. We have partnered with DSHS and Bill Bailey’s Signs to provide senior signs to all 450 DSHS graduates! We will also help promote “Paint the Town” to honor seniors by decorating businesses, houses, mailboxes, etc. in school colors. More information to come! If you’d like to help cover the cost of a senior sign, consider making a $10 donation at: dseducationfoundation.org
- Finally, we have continued to be in close contact with the mental health professionals who your dollars help support. I can’t say enough about what an incredible job they are doing serving the increased needs of students and families during this stressful time. We are partnering with DSISD and the Counseling Department to share helpful mental health tips through a new initiative called “Feel Good Friday.” To follow along, please like our Facebook and Instagram page. Our first video will be posted this Friday. Here is a brief update from the four positions DSEF supports through the Mental Health Services Initiative:
- Kim Bird (Dripping Springs Middle School & Sycamore Springs Middle School) – The honeymoon period is over for many students and families. They are dealing with trauma and grief over the interrupted routine and school year. Kim has had an increase in screenings in the last week and some families are struggling to pick up medications. Kim has started conducting telehealth sessions with families to provide additional support as well as a newsletter with additional tips and resources.
- Stephanie Opiela (Dripping Springs High School) – Initially, Stephanie had a break in communication with many of the students she was serving. She has worked hard to reconnect and has found that many are experiencing new stress such as isolation and lack of connection. Stephanie acknowledged that for many of her students, school was their safe place because they are living in high conflict situations. Stephanie has been sending resources out to families campus wide.
- Karey Carroll and Raynie McLaurin (Elementary Campuses) – Karey and Raynie along with the other elementary school counselors are providing wonderful resources to families at home to support Social and Emotional Learning. They are both sending out newsletters and weekly activities to support parents and students with suggestions such as making a family schedule and creating a peace place. Both Raynie and Karey reported that they are seeing new students and an increased need to support caregivers. Raynie is also working to bring Parent University to a virtual format.
I hope that you know that the work mentioned above is made possible because of YOU! Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for believing in our mission to provide more students with better opportunities. We will continue to work hard in the coming weeks and months to be a positive and proactive contributor to the students and teachers who need our support.
We will continue to show them that we’re ALL IN!
Lou Mandy Bruggman
P.S. – Please know that we are lifting you and your family up during this time. Our hearts are with you as you navigate the challenges that COVID-19 has created. We hope that you continue to find hope and inspiration by knowing we’re all in this together!