An Employee At Clara Barton Starts Program Helping Kids And Families In Need
The program is servicing about 20 families from Clara Barton and Hawthorne Elementary Schools.
FARGO, N.D.- A year and a half ago, Julie saw Fargo South High School had a food pantry and she wanted to bring one to Clara Barton and Hawthorne Elementaries.
“We started very small about a year ago and offered it for Thanksgiving and Christmas and now we’re down here,” says Julie Hetland the Office Assistant at Clara Barton Elementary.
“Sometimes is nice to be able to go to a place that you feel comfortable. With the kids that are in our school that knowing that they are at their school coming to get help other than another resource,” says Alexis Mathias the Behavior Technician at Clara Barton Elementary.
They recently upgraded to a bigger space and are now able to have more items like clothing, feminine supplies and toiletries.
“At the beginning of the year we have a form that we sent out to all of our families at Clara Barton and Hawthorne. We’re sister schools. And says this is what we do, this is who we are. Is this something you would be interested in? Are you interested in shopping for Husky Hutch?,” says Julie.
The food brought to the pantry comes from staff, family donations, and the Great Plains Food Bank.
Julie says the workload is sometimes overwhelming, but the reaction from the kids and families when they get items from the pantry is what keeps her going.
“Most of them were like oh my gosh thank you. I’ve been hugged. People have been crying. I’ve cried. It’s amazing especially now at Thanksgiving time, that next week we’ll have our families come and do some shopping to help them out for thanksgiving,” she says.
Other elementary schools in the area decided to get involved and make Clara Barton the place where everyone can come and get their items.
“Each school kind of had their own small little thing, but they thought it would be really nice to have it in a centrally located place. For the student wellness facilitators to be able to come in access in a central location,” she adds.
The student wellness facilitators work closely with families from other elementary schools who come to help them with their shopping.