Senior in social work Bridget Dunlay chose to collect donations for Communities in School for her senior project in social work.
Dunlay collected school supplies and snack food items for Parsons High School Communities in Schools. The items were donated to help high school students in need.
“I was introduced to Communities in Schools during my first year of my social work program, when I was assigned Meadowlark Communities in Schools to shadow,” Dunlay said. “While I was there, I was able to see what the organization does and how much it impacts the children they serve. I am from Parsons, KS where Communities in Schools is located in the high school. After seeing how much of a help Communities in Schools was at Meadowlark, I wanted to do my part in helping the community that I grew up in, while also helping… (to get) the organization more recognition.”
Helping kids and students was the main goal that Dunlay set out to achieve.
“Growing up, I never had to worry about if there was going to be dinner on the table when I got home, or if I was going to have a coat for the winter, or school supplies to get me through the year,” Dunlay said. “That was never an issue with me. When I went to shadow my first year it really opened my eyes on how privileged I was growing up. These are things that kids think about every day. Seeing this really moved me and solidified my decision to become a social worker. I want to be able to be a positive impact and help every person I can. Even if it’s just supplying them with school supplies, or a coat, or snacks. The circumstances of COVID-19 also play a role. I know everyone is struggling with the impacts that COVID is having with incomes. If I could just take even some of the burden off of the families by supplying them with school supplies or food, where they don’t have to worry about the expense during these trying times, I wanted to. I want to make a positive impact and help in any way I can.”
While they go a long way, donations aren’t the only way to help.
“(People can help) just by informing themselves on what Communities in Schools does and informing others as well,” Dunlay said. “Communities in Schools helps so many people and they deserve all the recognition and support they can get.”
Dunlay set up a Venmo account for donations and had collection boxes in Parsons.
“…(I spoke) to the site coordinator, Brooke Hopper, (and) she expressed the needs at the time to be school supplies and snack food items for the high school,” Dunlay said. “…Even after the deadline of my project, Communities in Schools in all surrounding areas will always take donations. Just get in contact with your local site coordinator on what specifics they are looking for.”
Dunlay hoped to collect 250 school supplies and 250 snack food items by November 20. Dunlay met her goal and donated 220 school supplies, 269 snack food items, and $842 in monetary donations.
“Overall, it was a total success,” Dunlay said. “I surpassed my goal by a lot. Since I was able to reach my goal without having to purchase more items with the money I collected, I was able to just hand over the money to the site coordinator, so she is able to purchase what they are in need of now. I am so thankful to anyone who donated, shared my posts, and listen to me babble about my project and how Communities in Schools helps the students living in poverty. I’m so thankful and blessed for the support that not only I received but also the kids who benefit from the fundraiser.”