Texas Retired Teachers Foundation’s “A Helping Hand” Program in Action

Jane Pickett’s eyes come alive when she’s talking about jump rope. Her voice steadies and her confidence soars as she explains the techniques and intricacies involved in a sport that she coached for 25 years.

Since she was four years old, Pickett knew that she wanted to teach physical education, and after she grew up, she was so entwined with the education of jump rope that she earned the title of “The Grandmother of Jump Rope.”

Pickett’s greatest joy during her teaching career was seeing her children succeed at jump rope and in school.

“I had kids that traveled to Iceland, Canada, Japan, all over Europe, Guatemala and everywhere in the United States. These kids got quite an education through jump rope,” Pickett said. “It was wonderful. You felt like you really did have an impact just by offering the opportunity.”

However, Pickett’s time as a coach and a teacher was cut short as her body began to fail her. She retired from teaching elementary jump rope in 1995. Many years later, Pickett faced a difficult medical decision. Her teeth were experiencing a variety of issues, and after consulting specialists in Boerne and San Antonio, Pickett discovered that the procedures to fix her dental issues amounted to $7,000. If Pickett did not receive the necessary dental operations, she risked losing her teeth.

As a retired schoolteacher on disability, Pickett did not have the money to cover these costs. She was in dire straights when she attended a Hill Country Retired School Employees Association (HCRSEA) meeting. Marjorie Morgan, HCRSEA’s Foundation Representative, delivered a talk about the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) and the “A Helping Hand” program at the meeting. “A Helping Hand” provides funding to retired educators experiencing critical financial emergencies.

“I had never in my life heard of Helping Hands,” said Pickett.

Pickett filed a request for assistance through “A Helping Hand” for $1,000. She received $1,500 from TRTF. With the help of a similar program in her Presbyterian Church, Pickett was able to pay for her dental surgeries.

“It was pretty overwhelming. You don’t think once you retire, and you’re pretty much out of the picture, that anybody is thinking about you or cares about you,” Pickett said. “It was like God had sent me a tremendous blessing. It took a lot of pressure off.”

“A Helping Hand” has a tangible impact on its recipients, allowing them to resolve emergencies that otherwise could have left them homeless, unable to buy food, or left with no resources to pay for essential medical services.

More than 30% of public education retirees in Texas earn less than $1000 per month through their monthly TRS annuity. Your donations to this vital program make a huge difference in the quality of life for many retirees across the state!

Since its inception, TRTF has provided more than $200,000 to educators of the past, present and future, including more than $80,000 to retirees in dire financial need through “A Helping Hand.”

Please help us continue TRTF’s good works by donating to “A Helping Hand.” You can donate online here or over the phone by calling 1.800.880.1650.

To learn more about “A Helping Hand” or to apply for assistance, send an email to help@trtf.org.


Thank you for all that you do to support the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation and the many teachers, students and retirees whose lives are changed every day by your generosity!

Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to keep informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Related News