Doing Your Part: How You Can Help a Dallas High School Recover from A Tornado

I wanted to start this week’s Medium post by acknowledging the generosity of Gene and Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban, who have pledged $1 million each towards the rebuilding of Thomas Jefferson High School and their athletic facilities after they were destroyed by the tornado that ripped through our shared hometown of Dallas, TX.

Thomas Jefferson High School holds a special place in the hearts of everyone at Pinnacle Group. We have been investing in their P-TECH program since 2016 and have mentored hundreds of students from Thomas Jefferson. We also run an internship program that has employed dozens of interns from the school, including some that are working for us this fall. Thomas Jefferson is a school that is made up of primarily Hispanic students, a vast majority of whom qualify for the free lunch program.

So, this is why the tornado’s destruction of this school was so heart-wrenching for us at Pinnacle Group. We have sent supplies and computers to the school and are enlisting the community’s support by sharing the critical need for school supplies known to our network and making it easy to contribute via this Amazon Wish List. Please, if you have a few dollars to spare, consider buying some of these school supplies. Luckily, the Dallas Independent School District had another facility that the students and teachers will use to finish the school year, but all of their supplies were lost in the storm and meanwhile classes have resumed.

This reminds me of one of the most important lessons my mother taught me. She is a lifelong civic leader and philanthropist who emphasizes the idea of “doing your part.” She knows that no one can put an entire city, state, or country on their back, but she also knows that everyone can do their part. I have always kept this in mind when it comes to philanthropy.

I’m not asking you or anyone else to donate $1 million like the Jones family or Mark Cuban. But I would ask you to buy a $20 pack of dry erase markers, or maybe a $100 gift card for the school. And I’d ask for you to volunteer some time to help with the cleanup in a neighborhood that’s been hit. And if you’re able to use your truck to haul away some trash from a friend’s yard, I’d ask you to lend a hand.

When something destructive like this happens, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the scale of it and wonder what you can do to help. But cities and schools aren’t rebuilt by one person or one group, they recover with the efforts of a huge collection of people.

Supporting youth and education is one of the most important things you can do. So, I hope you can partner with Pinnacle Group, Thomas Jefferson High School, and the generous people of Dallas to help all of those affected in their recovery efforts. I know a group of kids that will be forever grateful you did!