How the mission Began: Adopt-A-Teacher (2016 – 2020)
“Teaching is the greatest job in the world. Every day I get the chance to change a child’s life through encouragement, love, support, and knowledge. My only regret is that I don’t earn enough to help the needs of all of my kids in the classroom.”
–Middle School Teacher
One could argue that no adult is more trusted by children than a caring and loving teacher. Teachers frequently have the opportunity to help identify children in need. Through everyday encounters, they can establish a network of support that often brings needed comfort, trust, and peace into a child’s world. For that reason, we align our foundation’s support squarely behind our county’s elementary, middle, and high school teachers.
By doing so, teachers also get a look into their world and the day-to-day struggles many of them face. Although the academic environment is structured for learning, the ability to learn is dependent on a child’s arriving at school with basic needs. Basic school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc.) are often missing from the student’s book bag. And many times those needs fall at the feet of our teachers. 91% of teachers in the US spend an average of $800 a year on their students.
From 2016 – 2020, our Adopt-A-Teacher program stepped in to help offset this ongoing need by aligning parents, residents, community leaders, and local businesses with teachers in need. Teachers provide us with a “wish list” of needed materials and supplies. By coordinating “teacher adoptions,” local businesses and individuals purchased supplies from a “wish list.” and delivered them to the teachers, freeing them from the financial burdens of supplying classroom supplies.
Over the five years, the campaign matched over 1,200 teachers with local “adopters” who provided school supplies to address the needs within a classroom.
Our mission continues with The Kindness Locker
Unfortunately, many children enter the classroom without certain resources that are essential. The lack of these resources (water, food/snacks, clothing, school supplies, hygiene items, etc.) are huge obstacles negatively impacting a child’s opportunity for social and academic success. Teachers have always been quick to jump to the defense of their students, often coming out of their own pockets to make sure no child suffers.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm. The needs of children have dramatically increased as parents face financial hardship. At the same time, many local businesses that “adopted” the teachers are also facing financial hardships. In 2021 we reorganized the Adopt-A-Teacher program, creating the KINDNESS LOCKER. Its design provides a more efficient and more impactful way by aligning parents, Henry County residents, community leaders, and local businesses with the students in need.
How does the Kindness Locker work?
All Henry County schools are equipped with a Kindness Locker where the most needed school supplies, as well as basic necessities (toiletries, clothes, food, drinks) are made available for students in need.
With the generosity of foundation grants and generous corporate and individual donations, the Kindness Lockers will be stocked throughout the year. Our 2022 goal is to provide a minimum of $1,000 in supplies to every Henry County School.
What can you do?
Community Partners (individual and corporate) are invited to join the effort in the following ways:
1. Donate Backpacks with supplies:
Purchase as many backpacks and school supplies as your budget allows and deliver at one of the three locations listed below. Suggested school supplies are listed on the flyer.
2. Host a Backpack Drive:
Businesses and faith-based organizations are encouraged to host a backpack and school supplies drive. Collect as many backpacks and supplies as possible and deliver them to one of the two locations listed below. If you need assistance with delivery, please contact us at 678-964-5977.
Henry County Schools Welcome Center (166 Holly Road, McDonough GA 30253) on Tuesday – Thursday between 9 am – 4 pm. Please ask for Ms. Darlene
McDonough Presbyterian Church (427 McGarity Road, McDonough GA 30253) Monday – Thursday between 9 am – 4 pm.
Click below to see the supply list
3. Adopt-A-Kindness Locker:
Selecting one of the options below, please make a monetary donation. 100% of all funds are tax deductible and will go towards the purchase of needed supplies. We will purchase the supplies and deliver them to the Henry County Schools for you!
If you prefer to shop and deliver to the school yourself, please complete an adoption form (Click Here). We will contact you with a wishlist provided by the school. Purchase as many supplies as your budget allows and deliver them to the school. The Mental Health and Wellness Facilitator will meet you at the front office to accept the donations.
Please contact us at 678.964.5977 for any questions. We look forward to PARTNERING with You to serve the children and educators in our community!