Although most students and teachers are on summer break, we are hard at work at Schoolhouse Supplies with our Tools for Schools program underway. This week we are prepping for the annual Pack-a-Palooza event where corporate sponsors and their employees come to volunteer and pack backpacks to provide students in need with free supplies to support an entire year of learning.
Before we could get focused on preparing for Pack-a-Palooza, we had to get organized ourselves! Last week, in addition to our regular weekly volunteers, we had volunteers from Unitus Credit Union, CenturyLink, and Pioneers Volunteer Network come by to help us finalize our year-end inventory of our Free Store for Teachers. Free Store Coordinator, Barb put it best when she said they “rocked the Casbah!” With their deft support we were able to account for every object in the Free Store. Now we have grand totals of all the books, pencils, and other school supplies that will keep our inventory on track throughout our new fiscal year. They got so much done, so quickly that they started prepping our supplies for Pack-a-Palooza!
However, our sponsors’ service goes way beyond the prepping stage of our program. On top of their help getting the Free Store stocked and ready, and tagging a few thousand backpacks , we’ll see several of these folks back next week for Pack-a-Palooza either packing for a team in a friendly (but fierce) competition or helping out in a special role. Part of the mighty CenturyLink Pioneer’s group, Nona Wasson will serve as a team captain during Pack-a-Palooza (hopeful of leading her team to victory). You’ll see Kathy Kelley helping at Registration. And when they are not packing at Pack-a-Palooza, Rita Adams-Daggett and Lynda King support us year round with data entry.
We are so thankful for all the help that our sponsors provide. We are even more thankful for the longevity of their commitment to our mission. For example, Unitus Credit Union has sponsored a school through Tools for School for 10 years. In that decade they’ve been enthusiastic to volunteer and go above and beyond. Their contribution to Portland schools, where more than 65% of children are on free and reduced lunches, is greatly appreciated. Service from CenturyLink has also been phenomenal. Century Link has sponsored a school with our program for five years. Last year they tied with Team Chase Bank/Ideba Marketing by packing one backpack every 1.86 seconds! Their dedicated, hardworking volunteers are appreciated every year us along with their speedy packing skills.
The support we receive is immense, as you can see. We wish everyone a happy Pack-a-Palooza and send you our warmest gratitude for your help!