Pack-a-Palooza Partner Spotlight – Pacific Power Foundation

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We are very fortunateLisa Walker for all of our incredible partners that support our Tools for Schools Program. And we are especially thankful for the partners that have stuck with us and were committed to our mission since the very beginning. The Pacific Power Foundation has been sponsoring Tools for Schools since the very first backpack was delivered. In fact, the Pacific Power Foundation has supported one of our highest-need schools, Rosa Parks Elementary School, students since 2003!

This was a huge year for our partnership with the Pacific Power Foundation. In the month of July, the Pacific Power Foundation exceeded its life-time giving of $50,000. Their generosity was also extended at this year’s Pack-a-Palooza where they teamed up with PacificSource to pack at a speedy rate of 2.08 seconds per backpack! We are grateful for the support we receive from the Pacific Power Foundation which enables us to deliver on our mission to ensure that students have the tools they need to achieve!

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We asked Lisa Walker, an employee of Pacific Power what thoughts she had on the Pacific Power Foundation’s 12-year commitment to Tools for Schools and this is what she shared:

Why do you support Schoolhouse Supplies and our mission?

As a child, I loved school.  I loved having a place to go, to learn new things and discover new interests.  I believe that education is empowering and I’ve carried this passion for learning throughout my life.  I personally support Schoolhouse Supplies because they too are a champion of empowering children and teachers by making sure they have the tools they need to succeed.

What is your favorite aspect of the Tools for Schools program?

This may be the competitor in me, but I really enjoy Pack-a-Palooza.  The “friendly” competition just adds another layer of fun to an already phenomenal event.

How was your Pack-a-Palooza experience?

Our experience was absolutely wonderful.  Pacific Power had a great team this year and an added bonus—we ended up with the fastest packing time that day!  Many of the folks volunteering didn’t know each other prior to Pack-a-Palooza and yet we all came together like old friends to have fun and give back.  That is one of the things that I think Schoolhouse Supplies and Pack-a-Palooza does; it brings people that might not otherwise have an opportunity to meet and makes giving back easy and fun for them.

What was a memorable aspect of Pack-a-Palooza for you?

I have to say it was our team, the “Team Blue,” which was made up of Pacific Power and PacificSource employees.  Our teams were so focused and in the moment.  One mention or hint of a task needing to be done, or an additional supply needing to be tracked down, and there were five people immediately on it. The other volunteers I met were amazing people with big hearts.  I was really proud of our team members and what we were able to accomplish.

As a student, what was your favorite or most meaningful project you were assigned, and why?

I am not sure why this was the first thing that popped into my mind, but when I was in elementary school I had to do a report on the Cherokee/Trail of Tears, which was to include a visual aid of some sort.  I chose to make a replica (a very rustic replica) of a papoose, which is a generic term for the cradle boards that Native American women used to hold their babies when they were working or traveling.  I remember my dad finding a scrap piece of plywood that he cut into the proper shape and my mom finding scraps of canvas that she had in her sewing stuff to fashion the wrapping out of.  I came up with the design, but my parents helped me execute my plan.  My parents were always so active in their support of my education.  Looking back I realize how much that influenced my enthusiasm for education and the high priority I placed on it.  I remember thinking, if my parents thought school was a high enough priority to work on the project with me (being grown-ups they could do whatever they wanted), then it must be something worth investing in.

If the world could have an infinite amount of one school supply, what would it be, and why?

Oh, I am completely obsessed with pens and markers.  I love all the colors and inks that are available nowadays.  There’s a color for every mood and purpose!  Right now, my favorite is a fuchsia-colored, ultrafine-tipped Sharpie.  The bright color helps brighten my day.  I love little things you can do to make harder tasks less arduous.

20140722_Schoolhouse_10Since Rosa Parks Elementary is a year-round school, their students received their backpacks July 22! The students were ecstatic to receive their GIVE Will backpacks from our partners, Will Leather Goods. Each backpack was filled with essential supplies at Pack-a-Palooza by partners such as the Pacific Power Foundation and PacificSource. To learn more about how our Tools for Schools program serves students in our community, click here.

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