Houston (Oct. 15, 2018) – Collaborative for Children today announced it has received a $1.5 million grant from the Rebuild Texas Fund to help hundreds of Houston-area child care centers rebuild and rebound from Hurricane Harvey. This grant also will allow for provider training to ensure they are prepared to weather the next hurricane.
The Rebuild Texas Fund was launched just days after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas communities. A collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the OneStar Foundation, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the initiative is dedicated to the economic recovery of hard-hit Texas communities. Funded organizations, such as Collaborative for Children, play a critical role as rebuilding continues in the community. Collaborative for Children will focus on rebuilding child care centers, safeguarding quality early childhood education and offering trauma training for children.
“We are grateful for the Rebuild Texas Fund’s dedication and passion for rebuilding and revitalizing communities, including our own,” said Melanie Johnson, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children. “This generous grant will enable us to continue giving child care providers the critical support they need to provide the best possible early childhood education to our community’s children.”
Recognizing providers’ dire circumstances, Collaborative for Children created a Response, Recovery and Resilience program immediately after Hurricane Harvey. The program has helped more than 400 providers reopen their doors so parents could return to work and their children could receive the care and learning they deserve. Collaborative’s response is one of the state’s largest recovery efforts for child care centers, according to the Rebuild Texas Fund.
“We are excited to give Collaborative for Children this grant to continue our collective mission of helping communities rebuild after Hurricane Harvey,” said Neeraj Aggarwal, program director of Rebuild Texas Fund. “We know that rebuilding requires strong, creative partners from business, government, non-profit and philanthropy working together, and are excited to see how Collaborative for Children’s project positively impacts the community.”
The Rebuild Texas Fund supports organizations across all five regions impacted by Hurricane Harvey and that provide services in six focus areas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and child care; transportation and workforce; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.
Child Care owners, like Maylie Vasquez, say they are thrilled about Collaborative receiving the grant, because it means more providers will get the assistance they need to rebuild and become robust centers. Vasquez is one of the providers who last year received reimbursements from the agency to cover the cost of repairs at her damaged child care center.
“I will never forget how they helped me pay for everything I lost,” Vasquez said. “I had to use my son’s college money to pay for repairs, toys and food that I lost in the hurricane. They said, ‘Give us your receipts, and we’ll reimburse you.’
“We cried. I never thought that would be happening. It was amazing,” she said. “This grant is extremely important for child care providers.”
About the Rebuild Texas Fund
The Rebuild Texas Fund is a collaborative project of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the OneStar Foundation established to support the rebuilding efforts in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Rebuild Texas Fund works alongside organizations within the affected communities that are making an impact in the following six focus areas: community and economic development; health; housing; education and childcare; transportation and workforce; and capital for rebuilding small businesses.
The Rebuild Texas Fund will continue to fund projects and organizations within these areas through the end of 2019. Funding through the Rebuild Texas Fund is provided to eligible nonprofit, government, corporate, and philanthropic organizations working on the ground in Texas communities that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
For more information and to apply for a Rebuild Texas Fund grant, or to learn more about how you can help our neighbors in need, please visit www.rebuildtx.org.
About Collaborative for Children
Founded in 1987, Collaborative for Children meaningfully improves the quality of early childhood education and care for Houston-area children through those who are most influential in their lives. The agency works with child care providers and families to create high-quality learning environments and advocates for policies that benefit the early learning landscape in Texas. To learn more, visit www.collabforchildren.org.