SAN ANTONIO – Lizz Rocha couldn’t believe was happening.
The director of Guardian Angel Development Center woke up April 15 to video of flames tearing through the South Side daycare. Rocha said it was a sight that felt surreal.
“I was like asleep. I was like ‘shut up’, and she was like, ‘No I’m serious,” Rocha said.
The fire destroyed the facility down to the studs, devastating employees and families who have been part of the daycare that has been open since the 1980s.
“It was overwhelming to say the least,” Rocha said. “Looking around and everything gone.”
But Rocha and the owners of the daycare are getting a helping hand.
Harlandale United Methodist Church, which is just down the street from the burned down daycare center, has opened its doors so that the center can use some of its space and reopen as a temporary location.
The owner and staff are determined to reopen the daycare center and rebuild their classrooms by this week.
Rocha said they want to keep serving their 42 families. To make that happen, they are starting from scratch and need donations, from office supplies to children’s toys.
“Office supplies. All of our office stuff, our filing cabinets, are gone, down to the paper clips, all gone,” Rocha said.
Other things needed are children’s playmats, swings, bouncers, storage bins and shelves, children’s books and arts and crafts supplies.
Some donations have already come in. Colonel Hills United Methodist Church has donated two classrooms worth of children’s furniture.
Rocha said the donations they’ve received so far from their families and others in the community mean everything to them.
“It’s just overwhelming how much assistance we’ve gotten, how much donations we’ve gotten,” Rocha said. “The community has really pulled together to have this up and running. We are just waiting on the fire marshal to reopen.”
If you would like to donate items, you can drop them off at the church (in the back building) at 102 West White Avenue from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you have questions about what items are needed most, contact Rocha at 210-921-0770.