“Helping Our Kids and Families” campaign started

CNJ staff

Money and gift card donations are being sought to help Clovis public school children and staff members whose families suffered damage to their homes or property from the March 23 tornado.

Clovis Municipal Schools and the Clovis News Journal will collect donations for two weeks. The campaign starts Monday and runs through April 13.

“Helping Our Kids and Families” is a joint effort to ease the stress for an estimated 30 to 40 families, said CMS Director of Operations Gene Bieker.

CNJ Publisher Ray Sullivan said, “Our community recovery has begun, but the final recovery steps are weeks and months away for many people. Yet their living daily expenses continue to mount.

“Every penny or dollar or gift card donated will stay in Clovis and help local school children and their families who face major economic challenges, or the families of the schools’ staff who care for our kids. The district will decide how the donations will be divided.”

Starting Monday, each public school will collect money during the two-week fund drive. Principals will announce their efforts this week, he said.

The public can donate money, in any amount, or business gift cards to the CMS Central Office, 1009 N. Main St., or to the News Journal, 521 Pile St.

Three public schools were damaged by the evening tornado, the worst being Yucca Junior High School. Parkview and Lockwood elementary schools had minimal damage. However, dozens of homes and mobile homes adjacent to or near Lockwood in southeast Clovis were severely damaged or were destroyed.

Bieker said Thursday CMS officials know of 14 janitorial and maintenance staff employees whose homes or property were damaged, and two of those homes were destroyed. The exact number of children whose families suffered similar fates won’t be known until school resumes Monday, Bieker said, since last week was spring break.

Sullivan said cash in any amount, in coins or bills, or checks or gift cards are the only donations being collected. That allows people to fulfill their own needs exactly, he said.

Anyone with clothing or other merchandise to donate should bring it to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, 301 E. Second St.

Make checks payable to Clovis Municipal Schools, Bieker said. Note on the checks that the money is for the Tornado Fund.