Sometimes, going to the school can be a struggle. Trying to jot down notes, trying to understand every lesson, doing homework, and of course, passing all the exams.
Going to school is challenging enough. Imagine how much more difficult would it be if you don’t have anything to wear, if you haven’t taken a bath in days because you don’t have soap and shampoo?
Some teachers at Niota Elementary School went out of their way to provide children in need with basic necessities.
Kindergarten teachers Vanessa Bateman (left) and Heather Malick (right) built a ‘Comfort Closet’ to help students who can’t afford to buy basic needs such as clothes, deodorants, soap, shampoo, toothpastes – and other personal hygiene products.
The heartwarming story has been making the rounds in the internet since Vanessa’s husband, who goes by the name of Terevok, posted about “Comfort Closet” on Reddit:
Numerous people reacted to the story, many wanted to send donations to the school, while others shared their very own experience growing up poor needing some help just like what the teachers gave.
The first items in the “Comfort Closet” were purchased by the teachers using their own money, then Vanessa said they sent a note to children’s parents asking for supplies they can possibly donate. Eventually, some local businesses started to send in their donations as well.
The closet was located in an old locker room where children can get what they need in a subtle way. And even though their students are mostly kindergarteners, they have stocked items that can be a huge help for needy students up to the 8th grade.
A dropbox has been placed outside the school where donations may be dropped off. Donations can also be sent in the form of gift certificates to various stores where the school can buy what the students need.
Since the story went viral, many have also shared stories of other schools and teachers who already have been doing the same thing for their students.
For an instance in some schools within Orange County, Florida, “Share Tables” were implemented where students can put food they don’t want to eat. Poor students can eat these food instead. This concept isn’t only an excellent means of feeding poor student, it reduces food waste, too.
Vanessa said that they want to get a dryer for the school in the future to help the students have their clothes washed, too. Poverty is one of the biggest problems faced by many other countries today, including parts of the United States. Most parents would want the best for their children, but sometimes, poverty gets in the way of that.
There are families who are even struggling to eat complete meals each day.
Just the fact that some schools do this for the students signifies one thing: just like parents, there are teachers who understand things a child doesn’t say. Just like parents, there are teachers who are willing to do more for a child.