Addison Trail hosted a Partnership for Inspired Education (PIE) fundraiser on Sunday to help support the Addison food pantry in caring for those in need by providing personal care items.
The fundraiser, which called community members to drive out to AT with donations in their trunks, was a huge success. An entire vanful of self care items was donated from AT. Even more were donated through the other locations of the fundraiser.
“We’ve even received many donations prior to the event and have seen several cars come to each building,” said Katie Ahart, the Principal of Wesley elementary school. “Now is such an important time to provide these items.”
The self care items, which included shampoo, toothbrushes, and razors, are proving to be incredibly important during this time of financial hardship for many. This especially has held true as food pantries face shortages of self care items in particular.
“A lot of the time the food pantry has plenty of canned goods, boxed pasta, and things like that. But what they need a lot more of is these personal care items because they aren’t donated often and they’re expensive for people who are struggling,” said Michael Bolden, the principal of AT.
“Especially with tight money, personal care is so much more expensive than food,” she said. “That’s why these items mean so much.”
The items were donated in a unique, covid safe way. Volunteers drove to AT with items in their trunks. Then, following the namesake “pop the trunk” fundraiser, they opened their trunks to give the items. Although those donating couldn’t visit one another, there was still an overarching sense of togetherness and community.
“We’ve seen so many people stop by,” said Karla Kelly, the principal of Lincoln elementary school. “The community really cares. So many of the people donating saw the volunteers at the vaccine clinic and wanted to drop off items as their way of saying thank you.”
Ahart also saw the fundraiser bring a community bond.
It’s so important when the community comes out because they can see who they are benefitting directly. It also really shows how much our community cares,” she said.
Alongside the positive impact left on the entire community, volunteers felt their experiences helping out were valuable as well. Despite the cold weather and the early start, the volunteers expressed gratitude for an experience they saw as an opportunity.
“I’ve seen people in poverty and needing help. I know our families really need these donations,” said Kelly. “As a principal, I really felt that it was my responsibility to be here. I absolutely wanted to come.”
The impact left on all parties has inspired plans for future fundraisers. Principal Bolden also mentioned that even in the absence of events like the PIE fundraiser, there are so many ways for the community to help the cause.
“We can always donate locally in Addison to give to those in need. The Addison Township Food Pantry is a great food pantry and a great place to donate,” he said.
Bolden also explained the impact of donating time.
“Even if you aren’t able to donate food or items, you can always donate your time. Whether it’s at the food pantry loading boxes or cleaning up or somewhere else locally, having the manpower is such a huge part. Volunteering is a great way to give back,” he said.
As the community continues to show how much it cares, Addison is reminded of how unity can make this time of distancing much more meaningful.