Peace, love and…school supplies?

5 Dec

Each day I wake up and wonder how those 6 hours of sleep went so fast. Then I wonder why it will only feel like 30 minutes until I am asking myself the same question the next morning… Sleep is something I have learned to value in Public Allies. Why does time fly by? Public Allies have many responsibilities. One of those responsibilities include successfully serving at a local nonprofit, or partner organization.

I am proud to say I am the Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator at The Education Partnership. At The Education Partnership, we provide school supplies at no cost to schools where 70% of the students are on the National School Lunch Program (free or reduced lunch).

If a family has to decide between food or school supplies… food wins. Students generally come to school without the supplies they need to learn.  Teachers end up spending approximately $1,200 a year (national average) out of their own pockets to provide students with supplies. The Education Partnership works to close that gap.

We host three school supply distributions a year for 520 teachers to pick up approximately $400 of supplies each visit.  During the Holiday season, we also visit the schools to distribute a box of school supplies and a Pillow Pet to each of the 5,200 students we serve…

As you can see… this is our busy season! I am working to establish a structured volunteer program. Each day is different. Each volunteer group is a story, and they all make me smile.  Every other post I will try to highlight a volunteer or volunteer group.

Despite the constant planning/anxiousness, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve at The Education Partnership. One of my first “ah ha” moments came during our first school supplies distribution. One teacher explained to me how she is not used to feeling appreciated. That our work helped her feel grateful for what she does and helps provide her students with a promising start. That stuck with me.

Plus, being the nerd that I am, nothing is better walking into work smelling like the first day of school.

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4 Responses to “Peace, love and…school supplies?”

  1. Liz Backstrom December 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    How heartwarming! I loved seeing all of the smiling faces in the video. I worked in a school that served a similar population last year; it brought back a lot of great memories. Teachers are so under-appreciated considering how big of a role they play in a child’s life. Let’s try and change this 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing more, Erin!

  2. pemadb December 6, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Erin, what amazing feedback from the teacher! Your comment about prioritizing a child’s needs really stuck with me and I think it might apply to the work I do. It’s great to hear voices from other Allies around the country for reasons like this!

    Best of luck for the year.

  3. Helen December 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Great event!!

  4. imdelgado December 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    The kids in the video are super cute; you’re making a real difference in their lives!

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