Spotlight: Holiday Giving in Our Local PTAs

December 2023

This month in our “Spotlight” feature, Council Area VP Manda Mangrai collected some highlights on how our local PTAs are helping to support families in their school communities who could use some extra help during the holiday season.

Our PTAs Rise to the Occasion During the Season of Giving

SpotlightThe holidays are a tough time for families who are struggling financially. As PTAs and PTSAs, our natural desire is to want to help these families. Since our governing bodies urge us to approach gift card drives that benefit a small percentage of our families with caution (due to IRS-related restrictions), here are some other creative and generous ways our PTAs have been giving in our communities.

John Muir PTSA hosted a toy drive for students in need. Sandburg and DCS PTSA are running a Helping Hands gift drive to gather donations of toys, clothing and shoes for families in their community. Lakeview Elementary PTSA is granting “wishes” for families in need by matching granters with wishes collected by the school counselor. Prior to Thanksgiving, Mead PTSA hosted a food drive to benefit Pantry Packs.

For a second year in a row, Blackwell PTSA is partnering with Redmond Elementary to identify families in need in the Redmond community and make their Winter Wishes come true. Blackwell families can donate simply by selecting an item from the SignUpGenius. Redmond Elementary PTSA is also sponsoring a Community Drive. They’ve put together an Amazon Wish List for their families and are asking their community to purchase items from the list. They are also collecting gently used laptops and tablets to repurpose.

Last but not least, Dickinson & Explorer have been operating several programs to help their community. Explorer families organized a Hopelink drive prior to their field trip to the Hopelink headquarters. Dickinson & Explorer held a winter clothing and pantry drive. Additionally, they have a Holiday Giving Tree similar to Lakeview’s, where the school counselor helps match student or family wishes with donors. And finally, Dickinson/Explorer has opened their doors to the Dreagle Department Store for the second year in a row in one of their portable classrooms. Families can contact the school counselor to arrange for time to browse the store for community-donated items such as clothing, school supplies, toys, Halloween costumes and more.

I am so impressed and humbled by the generosity of our PTAs and PTSAs and all the work they have done to support their families. This is what the holiday season is all about!