Hope for a happy ending: One local businesswoman is raising funds to stock up Uvalde school library

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 08/11/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – One local businesswoman has earned a name – and reputation – for championing the causes of the underdog. After years of working in the oil and gas industry, Priyanka Johri felt the urge to rescue and protect special needs animals. Knowing that the standard ‘nine-to-five’ wouldn’t allow her to achieve her goal of building an animal sanctuary, she quit her job and rewrote her entire career into that of a real estate agent. Thus, in 2007, was born Woodlands Eco Realty - Rescue and Real Estate.

Priyanka Johri, owner of Acorn Manor Assisted Living, Woodlands Eco Realty, and Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary, has a mission to better the world

Her success in the real estate field enabled her to not only put hundreds of families into Woodlands area homes, but also to use the proceeds from her business to create and grow Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary, a local three-acre haven for abandoned, special needs, and oh-so loving dogs.

Not content to rest on her laurels, Johri next set her sights on another class that typically gets overlooked: elderly people in need of managed care, especially those with their own pets. In 2019, she created Acorn Manor Assisted Living on Budde Road. The facility is an oasis for elderly resident and animal alike, where dogs provide companionship and therapy to their human handlers.

Recently, Johri was searching through Amazon wish lists of local teachers in an effort to see what and to whom she could donate next. Surprisingly, most of these Woodlands area teachers indicated that they had what they needed, but there was a dearth of calls to action for teachers in less fortunate areas.

One teacher pointed out that educators and students were in dire need of new books at the Uvalde County School District, which includes Robb Elementary, site of the horrific mass shooting in May. The realization of the full ramifications of the aftermath of such a tragedy spurred Johri into action.

“I figured out right away that I wanted to donate books,” said Johri. “I love books; I’m a book addict. Because of the difficult childhood I endured in India, I always found solace in reading books. They were my escape from trauma. And I felt – I knew – that the children in Uvalde are in desperate need of a similar escape.”

Always a promoter of supporting local businesses, Johri’s next step was to contact Teresa Kenney, owner of Village Books here in The Woodlands. The two women struck an agreement to obtain children’s books for Johri at cost, and for Johri herself to start off the campaign with a $1,000 donation on behalf of Woodlands Eco Realty.

“My plan is to restock the Uvalde schools’ libraries from scratch,” said Johri. “What started out as a kernel of an idea to help children cope is now exploding into a significant venture that could use the help – and the donations – from the amazing members of The Woodlands community.”

Johri is seeking cash donations through the end of August so that she can purchase at-cost books from Village Books and take a trip to Uvalde in mid-September to present them to educators. A simple way for you to donate is to either contact Johri at 832-277-3577, or to visit Village Books at 9955 Woodlands Parkway Suite F and specify a donation for the Woodlands Eco Realty Uvalde Fundraiser.

“As I’ve done for many years, I’m still donating to Conroe ISD,” assured Johri. “But this is such a special situation stemming from such a traumatic event, I felt priority should be given to these students still recovering from what happened.”

As an added incentive for people to donate, Johri will hold a special drawing; one lucky winner who has donated to this cause will receive a gift certificate to Village Books. Johri – and Woodlands Online – hope that many people respond to this call to action and provide funds for Priyanka Johri to build libraries, dreams, and hope for the people of Uvalde.

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