Chip and Joanna Gaines Raise Money to Help Waco Middle School After Devastating Fire
G.W. Carver Middle School in Waco, Texas, was devastated on July 27 after an early morning fire left significant damage to the school library, gym, front offices and classrooms. Due to the incident happening so close to the new school year, its students will be forced to attend different schools in the area.
The school has been a central pillar of the neighborhood since it opened in 1959 as a high school for the Black community in Waco, former student and current school secretary Sandra Dorsey-Butler told local news outlet KWTX.
"We have no grocery stores, cleaners or businesses that anchor this community but Carver is that anchor," Dorsey-Butler, whose parents also worked at the school, said.
She lives just a few doors down and received word of the fire as it was still burning. "At 3:05 [A.M.] I got a call from my principal saying 'Ms. Dorsey I wanted to call you later this morning to wish you a happy birthday but Carver is burning down,'" Dorsey-Butler explained. "Flames were shooting up from the library from the administrative offices."
"G.W. Carver Middle School is more than a building," Principal Isaac Carrier told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "It's the people, and it's the legacy that they carry with them each day. We will heal and thrive together. This coming school year will be different than we expected, but it can and will still be a great year."
The Gaineses, who live in Waco with their five children, are using their restaurant, Magnolia Table, as a way to raise money to help rebuild the school — adding to efforts already underway in the community.
Joanna, 43, shared a series of posts on her Instagram Stories on Thursday explaining the circumstances of the tragic fire and offering a way for her followers to help G. W. Carver Middle School.
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"Waco has already come together to help, so we want to join their efforts and get this school community back on its feet," she wrote. "Visit us at Magnolia Table, mention G.W. Carver Middle at checkout, and 100% of your total will go to the G.W. Carver Disaster Relief Fund up to $15,000 total."
Joanna also added that her followers who are not residents of Waco can still pitch by helping the school's teachers directly through their wishlists. The fundraiser takes place between Aug. 11-13.