Twelve weeks after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc into the lives of many Humble ISD families, Kingwood High School students received over 2,000 donated mums and garters for homecoming week. The big homecoming tradition will not look different this year, thanks to the heart of Ashley Reel.
“I was heartbroken seeing all of the destruction. Hurricane Harvey took away so much from many families and I had to give them something back. I wanted each student to be able to enjoy this homecoming tradition and not feel like they were forgotten,” said Ashley, a freshman at Oak Ridge High School in the Woodlands Immediately after Harvey, Ashley made a list of the items she thought students would need. Her list consisted of dresses, suits, shoes, accessories, mums, and garters.
To accomplish this donation dream, Ashley had to create 2,772 mums and garters for students. Ashely did not flinch at this number and used her Hurricane Harvey Homecoming Dress Drive page to ask for donations of ribbons, flowers, and hot glue guns. She received donations from Kacey Grubbs Monster Spirit in Dallas, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church and the Reel family.
“It took an army of volunteers to complete this act of love. Over 75 people volunteered to help us. All of the mums and garters were handmade and it took everyone about 400 to 500 hours to finish, but at the end it was all worth it,” said Reel.
Ashley requested the total number of Kingwood High School students from Humble ISD to make sure she had enough mums and garters for everyone. Her goal went deeper than just making a simple donation. Ashley wanted to send a specific message through her act of kindness. Because just like Ashley says “The tassel is worth the hassle.”
“It doesn’t matter what life brings to you. It is the what you learn through the journey that matters. It is also the results of the journey that matters. I know it is a difficult time for many, but once they have their cap and gown and are graduating, they will see that it was all worth it.”
The mums and garters were proudly accepted by the Kingwood High School Student Council and sponsors Jamie Morris and David Knight on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
“The mums and garters meant so much to our Mustangs! We really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the Reel family. To know someone is out there thinking of us, keeps us going from day to day. It really added a special touch to our homecoming experience,” said Jamie Morris, Kingwood High School teacher.