The Bay County Contractors and Associates, Inc. donated $10,000 to the Bay Education Foundation. The money was divided among the nine district elementary schools with the highest percent of students on free and reduced-price lunches.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Matt Marshall said. “And it’s the kind of legacy we want to leave behind.”
Administrators from Patterson, St. Andrew School, Lucille Moore, Cedar Grove, Cherry Street, Oakland Terrace, Waller, Springfield and Parker elementary schools were on hand to receive the checks and talk a little bit about how they plan to use the money to brighten their students’ Christmas. Some will focus on Christmas presents, while others will try to cover some of the more basic needs, like socks and winter jackets. Cherry Street will use the money to buy every student a blanket, and Springfield will use some of the money to help its homeless students.
At St. Andrew School, Principal Janie Branstetter said they’re going to give 11 families $100 Walmart gift cards, so they can purchase presents, but they also could buy groceries, clothes, gas or even eyeglasses. Because their student population is so small but the families so needy, Branstetter said they try to make sure every family is covered by an organization like Toys for Tots or other drives.
“We try to cover every child,” she said. “With this, we’re going to find a family where there’s a working parent who might not be eligible for other programs.”
Because St. Andrew’s students are referred from their home school because of behavioral issues, Branstetter said she often feels like they’re left out. She said she was extremely grateful to BCCA and thrilled to have the opportunity to help her kids.
“It is wonderful to know that we have organizations in the community that give back to our school systems,” she said. “There’s so much need in our community right now, especially in the elementary schools.”