ConnectEd 2020-21 // Issue III - Page 7

Record-setting donations help GEF support GISD staff

Now more than ever , the Garland ISD Education Foundation ( GEF ) is needed to support teaching and learning across the district . GEF helps provide funding for schools to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and for staff to continue implementing innovative learning experiences .
But the Foundation does not work in isolation . Contributions from district employees and our tri-cities community show that we are truly # BetterTogether .
In October , GEF held its annual Employee Giving Campaign with expectations that the pandemic might affect donation totals . The results shocked President and District Corporate Initiatives Liaison Lisa Cox .
“ We had our highest total ever ,” she explained . “ Our generous staff donated more than $ 107,000 . To see the district taking care of its own and giving what we could to make someone else ’ s year better was really heartwarming .”
Just one month later , the community showed its generosity as well . GEF ’ s popular Tinsel & Trivia fundraising event was canceled due to COVID-19 , so Cox
created an online Grant Me Now experience that allowed donors to log on , view grant requests from teachers and directly fulfill them . Cox also emailed fun trivia questions and awarded honorary prizes . In just one week , more than $ 65,000 was raised .
While this experience granted the wishes of 34 teachers , GEF has also made several more dreams come true throughout the school year . GEF offered its traditional grant and scholarship opportunities in the fall , as well as an additional Helping Hand $ 500 grant giveaway . In total , the Foundation has gifted more than $ 206,000 to GISD staff since August .
“ I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has reached into their pockets ,” Cox said . “ This has been a tough year for all of us , but we are a family , and we share a commitment to preparing our students for success . GEF wouldn ’ t exist without you , and I appreciate your support .”
If you ’ d like to help GEF impact teaching and learning across the district , there ’ s still time . The Foundation ’ s 2021 Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 11 at Firewheel Golf Park .
Call 972-487-3254 or email foundation @ garlandisd . net for player registration and event sponsorship .

Evan C . Walker

Class of 2017 // # TeamGISD Garland ISD ' s first Rhodes Scholar
“ Garland ISD provided the academic environment for me to establish quality study habits and be exposed to new ways of thinking . The staff and faculty furthered my development with their level of care and dedication .”
• Attended Dorsey Elementary School , Kimberlin Academy for Excellence , Austin Academy for Excellence and Lakeview Centennial High School
• Cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point
2020 – 21 // Issue III 6