United Way award

McAllen ISD has earned the Golden Apple Award from the United Way of South Texas for the third straight year. The award, which recognizes the school district which provided the largest contribution from its staff, was presented on February 25 at the United Way of South Texas office in McAllen.

McAllen ISD has not only won this award three straight years but has always been recognized as a top five supporter. The Golden Apple awards program began about 20 years ago. The United Way of South Texas oversees many programs which benefit youth and their families in Hidalgo and Starr County.

Pictured from left to right are United Way of South Texas Board Member and Campaign Co-Chair Dr. D'uAndre A. Drain of GE Aviation;  Dr. J.A. Gonzalez, Superintendent of Schools, McAllen ISD; Ann Vega, McAllen ISD Campaign Coordinator; and United Way of South Texas Board Member and Campaign Co-Chair Gerardo Paz of South Texas Federal Credit Union.

 McAllen ISD’s staff has worked hard for their community and is very giving in all areas. During the COVID-19 restrictions, for instance, McAllen ISD food service staff worked with transportation to arrange for Meals on Wheels routes and curbside pickup locations so children would not miss meals. Since March 2020, staff have prepared and served more than 4.3 million meals. 

McAllen ISD nurses and staff have participated in COVID-19 vaccines in multiple clinics. McAllen ISD has served as a co-provider for these clinics.   

 Also for the third straight year, McAllen ISD’s Gonzalez Elementary was recognized as Highest Per Capita Campus. Gonzalez finished first in a region comprised of 16 school districts in Hidalgo and Starr counties and even beat out many middle schools and high schools which have significantly larger staffs.

United Way of South Texas is planning a virtual-recognition event which will premier online on Thursday, March 11. 


United Way saves the community thousands of dollars by consolidating fund raising efforts, providing a clear form of accountability, and investing in a diverse group of local non-profits, according to its website. 

By giving to the United Way of South Texas (serving Hidalgo and Starr Counties) you are “Making lasting changes right here where YOU LIVE.” The United Way of South Texas can help companies plan and implement a campaign. 

Ninety-nine percent of your United Way gift remains in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. United Way of South Texas funds more than 100 programs through 22 Partner Agencies and numerous Community Impact Grant recipients. Through these programs, they help youth succeed, strengthening and supporting families by providing employment placement for the disabled, elderly assistance, transportation assistance, emergency shelter, CPR training and many other critical services.

United Way of South Texas: https://unitedwayofsotx.org/