When we thought about a “back to school” effort for Trinity, we first contemplated how we could raise funds for back to school shoes---something we know every parent has to figure out for every student at this time of year. The logistics of the challenge overwhelmed us, however, and we tried to come up with another idea.
Since we are trying to focus on building and sustaining relationships, it made sense to think about our Study Connection partner school, South Wayne Elementary. We all have heard the stories of how public school teachers use their own personal money to pay for classroom items, so we figured that would be the case at South Wayne, too. Probably bulletin board decorations, crayons and tissues, was my thought, to be perfectly honest.
We contacted the principal (a dynamo, Brenda West; just the sort of compassionate and creative soul you would want overseeing your staff or students). Brenda told us that they do try to keep a small fund for teachers to use for ‘extras’, but it’s never enough, of course. And then she shared the three top items teachers had purchased with those funds last year: shoes, underwear and socks for students.
Think on that.
Grade school children whose basic needs are unmet.
Many of the families are doing all they can, but their resources just don’t go far enough.
In the end, we created about 30 packages of items and experiences. Not sure whether this was going to work, we set up the displays and waited, hoped and prayed.
Trinity members came through in a big way. Thus far, we’re raised more than $4,300 for that teachers’ fund at South Wayne. That is going to buy a lot of socks, underwear and shoes for those students.
I truly didn’t know what to expect. I am so glad to be part of a community that supports teachers, students and families. I appreciate every one of our bidders and those who gave donations of items or cash. I am so proud to be part of a staff that pitches in and helps make things successful. I am so grateful to be reminded, almost daily, that we live in a good place where good things happen.