Partners, volunteers help Texas teachers feel the love

Story and photos by Randy Bruggink, Warehouse Manager, World Vision's North Texas field site

The request came from Annette Taylor, math instruction coach at Thelma Richardson Elementary School: Did World Vision's North Texas field site have anything that could be donated for their Teacher Appreciation Week in May?

Corporate volunteers assemble gift bags for teachers at World Vision's North Texas field site.

Corporate volunteers assemble gift bags for teachers at World Vision's North Texas field site.


The school is located in the Pleasant Grove region, one of the most impoverished areas in the Dallas Independent School District.

"The teachers on our campus will receive very little, if anything, from students during Teacher Appreciation Week due to our low socioeconomic area where the school is located," Taylor told World Vision.

The idea was to provide each Richardson teacher with a gift bag of personal items, with some classroom support items also given to the school to raffle off. The North Texas team expressed excitement at the opportunity to help.

As the Lord would have it, in late April a major corporate volunteer group came to serve at the North Texas warehouse as part of its international training event, and as a team-building activity. World Vision collected gift bag items, small office supplies, and office furniture, and turned the project over to the group.

Volunteers stuffed colorful bags donated by Thirty-One Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Volunteers stuffed colorful bags donated by Thirty-One Gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.

 

By the end of the day, the corporate volunteers had assembled and boxed 60 gift bags for women and 10 for men, and sorted and assembled 74 items for the raffle. They placed them on pallets for delivery to the school. Some of the volunteers even conducted quality control checks of the office chairs for teachers.

"Those look wonderful! [The teachers] will be so excited to get those treat bags," Taylor exclaimed after seeing photos of the volunteer efforts. "The bags for the men look awesome as well."

During the week leading up to the delivery to the school, World Vision's box truck broke down. One of the North Texas field site's partners, Danny Parks from Transitional Outreach Ministries, offered to use his pickup truck and trailer to make the delivery.

The items were loaded and shipped — thanks to a group effort involving Parks, the North Texas staff, and Richardson staff — and distributed during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Starbucks donated a cupboard full of coffee to teachers in the Dallas area.

Starbucks donated a cupboard full of coffee to teachers in the Dallas area.

"Everyone was elated with the wonderful gifts they received all week," Taylor said. "It was truly an awesome experience for our staff. We can't thank you...and those involved in putting the gift bags together [enough]. You guys are awesome!"

Many people and partners helped World Vision's North Texas field site make the event so special for the teachers who work on the front lines of improving child well-being in the Dallas area.

Thanks to the administration and staff of Thelma Richardson Elementary School, Danny Parks of Transitional Outreach Ministries, Thirty-One Gifts, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, HD Supply, ORS Nasco, Starbucks, and our corporate volunteer partners!

 

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