There’s an international movement of love happening in El Paso and it’s arriving daily via postcards.
It started as a Facebook post from Teresa Garrett (pictured in photo below) and Elvira Flores just after the August 3 mass shooting at a Wal-Mart Supercenter near Cielo Vista Mall in eastern El Paso.
In response to what is 2019’s deadliest mass shooting where 22 people perished and 26 additional were injured allegedly due to racism, Garrett and Flores felt the need to act by posting a Facebook request.
The post’s message:
Hello. We are teachers in El Paso. We would like to know if anyone is interested in sending us postcards to help our students know there is plenty of good in our world. As teachers, we may only be able to say so much. We think concrete messages of support would help us calm some fears.
In an article on the El Paso Independent School District’s website, Garrett told Gustavos Reveles, “My goal with this request was to let my kids know that there are other voices out there other than the voice from the man who attacked our city. I wanted them to hear a message of love from the majority of the people in this beautiful world.”
And then, postcards started arriving. “At my school, we’re thrilled at the response and can’t believe people from all over are sending us postcards,” Garrett, a fourth-grade teacher at Tom Lea Elementary tells Parentology.
The focus of students has turned to the postcards themselves, versus the shooting. As to how the kids feel about the incident, Garrett says, “We [school staff] don’t talk about the tragedy as it’s not our place. Parents or counselors our school district has made available do so.”
Once the love started flowing, it grew versus waned with schools from other states wanting to continue communication. “We’ve agreed to be pen pals with a couple of schools, but haven’t started yet. For others who’ve asked to be pen pals, we’re discussing swapping Christmas cards.”
Something Garrett makes clear, “I don’t want to get into the political arena. My students and parents need to see me as their teacher and not someone with my own personal agenda.”
Instead, “We just want positive thoughts for the kids.”
Those positive thoughts seem to be working. The kids from Tom Lea and Hillside Elementary Schools are excited about the project and view their teacher as a celebrity. “My students think their teacher is famous,” she jokes.
How she feels? “This whole experience has been very humbling.”
Want to show some love? See the address details below from the original Facebook post.