Boxes on boxes of noodles wrapped in orange packaging, white grocery bags filled with cleaning products and jumbo-sized laundry detergents lined the car trunk as Sheryl Hutchinson and Pamela Bickett, two paralegals at Butler’s Tallahassee office, set out for Pineview Elementary School on Monday morning.
When Sheryl came across a post on Facebook about a principal who brought a Title 1 school from an “F” to a “C” grade after implementing progressive initiatives, which included a new parent resource center, Sheryl saw an opportunity for our Tallahassee office to get involved.
“It was similar to a story I heard a while back about a high school where kids were going to school in dirty clothes, so the principal installed a laundry room for the students to use. Hearing those students speak about how something so small changed everything about their high school experience made me wonder why more schools did not do things like this for their students,” says Sheryl.
Located in one of Tallahassee’s poorest communities, about 80% of Pineview’s 390 students qualify for free and reduced lunch based on their families’ incomes.
A hungry stomach and unclean clothes can be the greatest inhibitor to a child’s ability to learn and cope in school. The new parent resource center has educational resources, washers and dryers, and a food pantry. Each Friday, Pineview sends 150 kids home with food to sustain them over the weekend.
Eager to meet the greatest needs of students in poverty, Sheryl reached out to Pineview principal, Cameron Conner, to ask what items families lacked most. Tallahassee staff members were ready to get behind the cause, happily donating their money and items to help stock the shelves for those in need.
“Anything we can do to help the kids in our community should be the top priority. You never know how something is going to change a kid or their future,” says Sheryl.
The Tallahassee office collected and delivered 200 packages of ramen noodles, 6 XL bottles of laundry detergent, fabric softener, spray-n-wash, and bleach tabs. This donation will help satisfy more than hunger but a desire for a brighter year and future for Pineview students.