I was delighted to be one of the recipients of Todd Burleson’s $500 gifts this year! Warner Enhanced Elementary School is a community school located in the center of historic East Nashville. It is a wonderful asset to the area. It serves children Pre-K through 4th Grade and gives them a solid foundation for middle school.
With Todd’s gift, Warner’s Kindergarten classes were able to boost up their classroom libraries so that they will be full of new books when students return in August.
Forgive me for digressing from the main topic of this blog. I would like to share a little about the food drive I participated in this afternoon. It was an exciting day, and a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit.
For the past ten years (or so), my church ran a food drive for the children at the local school one block away. Now that the church is gone, a Legacy Fund has been established to make sure that these types of projects continue to care for the children of the area. Today’s food drive was the first event organized by the Legacy Fund.
The Tulip Street Church-Frances Southerland Legacy Fund was established this year (2016) as a permanent endowment to support the children of Warner School. It is run through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (the link to the fund on the CFMT website is here).
This year, 91% of the children attending Warner School live at or below the poverty level. Many of these kids rely on the free breakfast and lunch provided by the school as their reliable source of food.
That means that the two weeks of Winter Break can be scary for some of the kids—they may not know where their next meal will come from during those two weeks. The children at Warner School are in Kindergarten to Fourth Grade.
We try to make the Winter Break a little easier by packing backpacks full of food that children ages 5 to 9 can prepare for themselves, or that is already ready to eat. This includes single-serving Chef Boyardee, mac & cheese, granola bars, applesauce, and fruit cups.
We were thrilled to have the residents of Historic Edgefield joined in to help us with the food drive this year! With their help, we packed 127 backpacks full of food for the Warner School kids!
As my husband put it in his post on Facebook:
2016 Backpacks, by the numbers.
– 127 backpacks plus a truckload of leftovers for the school food bank to hand out to families who need pantry items.
– 6591 individual food items in 127 backpacks.
– 3 large boxes of pantry items for the school’s food bank.
– 5 vehicles to transport it all to Warner Elementary.
– 38 people packing food over the course of the afternoon.
– 2 staff from Warner (principal and vice-principal)
– 300 students at Warner Elementary
– 2.5 hours to unload it into the gym, unbox everything, pack the backpacks, and deliver to Warner.
The principal and VP were both helping and were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they just received.
This week, the school counselor will pick kids with the most abundant need, meet with them and give them a backpack so that they have food for the two week Christmas break where they won’t be eating at school.
I love this.
The Legacy Fund has other projects planned that will take place throughout the year. There will be fundraising opportunities to send kids to camp, collections of school supplies, and a Halloween costume drive, to name a few.
Many thanks to all who came to help or who donated food or backpacks! We could not have done it without you!