Shun Jackson, one of two social workers in the Pine Bluff School District said The Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund has been used for everything from coats to shoes, uniforms and more.
“We use it for any student who has a need and meets the income guidelines,” Jackson said.
In one incident, an elementary school student was seen wearing shoes that were “extremely big,” Jackson said. “It looked like the shoes belonged to an adult.”
Realizing the need, the district purchased shoes for the student with money from the Christmas Card Fund.
In another incident, a family just relocating to the district with a child diagnosed with behavior issues needed help. But, with a pending application for services that would provide assistance, the child struggled in the classroom.
“It was difficult for the student to focus,” Jackson said.
Again, the school saw an opportunity to step in. Using money from the Christmas Card Fund, the school supplied the child with desperately needed medication.
Jackson said resolving this student’s need made an impact on the entire family. Free from disruptions, the child could then engage academically. Relieved of their pressure, Jackson said, “The parents were excited. They stopped focusing on how to get help and began to be involved in the student’s education plan.”
Recently, the district used the Christmas Card Fund to assist another student with head lice.
“The child was missing school because she didn’t have the medication,” Jackson said. We were able to help.”
Jackson said the district is grateful for the fund — and contributes to it, as well.
“We are collecting our donations now,” she said.
Jackson said the district also offers students who may be in a position to give and their parents the opportunity to make donations.
The Christmas Card Fund is made possible through the generosity of The Commercial’s readers. The money collected through the fund will be divided among the four public school districts in Jefferson County. The Commercial does not retain any of the money to cover administrative costs.
Contributions to the Christmas Card Fund may be made to Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. Donations can also be brought by The Commercial office, 300 S. Beech St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Those who give at least $1 may have their names placed on a Community Christmas Card to be printed in The Commercial before Christmas