Pack-a-Palooza Partner Spotlight – Unitus Community Credit Union

We are very lucky at Schoolhouse Supplies to have had Unitus Community Credit Union as a Tools for Schools partner for the past 10 years. Throughout our partnership, Unitus Community Credit Union has shown its commitment at countless volunteer shifts and events. For example, before the big event, Unitus sent team members to our Free Store for Teachers to help us and other volunteers finish inventory. Unitus Community Credit Union continued to prevail at Pack-a-Palooza packing at a brisk pace of 2.23 seconds per backpack at this year’s Pack-a-Palooza to support Vestal School.

We asked Aimee Berg from Unitus Community Credit Union to reflect on our ten-year partnership and here is what she had to say:

Why do you support Schoolhouse Supplies and our mission?

Supporting the highest-need classrooms in our community is very important to Unitus Community Credit Union, which is why it’s such an honor to work in partnership with Schoolhouse Supplies. We appreciate the work you do and the programs you have in place to support students in need and to provide teachers in the Portland Public School District access to supplies free of cost—your efforts are invaluable!

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

It’s easy to take the simplicity of having a pencil or notebook paper for granted. The fact is, these supplies cost money and, along with other classroom items, are difficult for many families to afford. The Tools for Schools program provides these critical supplies so students can actively engage in learning and begin the year with confidence. There is nothing better than knowing that, regardless of family income level, a child will begin the school year with the supplies needed to succeed. The program should be commended and celebrated in our community for meeting a very practical and important need.

How was your Pack-a-Palooza experience?

The Pack-a-Palooza experience was fun, engaging and very rewarding. From walking into the Madison High School auditorium, to scoping out our competition, to strategizing how our team would beat the competition’s time with smart packing, to cheering each other on as the final backpack was stuffed—the whole experience was extremely powerful. There’s nothing like uniting with other organizations for a great cause. There were high-fives all around!

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

There were many memorable moments. I most enjoyed the sense of team spirit. It’s amazing what organizations can do when they pull together to make a difference—organizations of all types and sizes in the same room, working to help students in need. That said, it was special when our fabulous team captain spurred us on with a team chant: “When I say ‘GO’…you say, ‘UNITUS!’ “GO UNITUS!”

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

In the sixth grade, every student was assigned a report to map out our future, including the college we wanted to attend, our dream job and the place we would later call home. A twelve-year-old at the time, my imagination soared as I googled “Apartments in New York City.” Little did I know the true cost of such a dream! Though many of the “plans” from my sixth grade report have changed, many of my dreams as a twelve-year-old still remain the same. It reminds me how important and formative early years as a student are.

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

Notebooks- I believe every individual should have the ability to express themselves through the written word. A wise teacher once told me that every person should spend thirty minutes a day writing in their notebook! If only I had the time…

 

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