Alpharetta parent-teacher groups donate more than $20,000 total to families in need amid school closures

The Alpharetta Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and the Webb Bridge Middle School Parent Teacher Association kickstarted community fundraisers to raise money for grocery store gift cards for AES and WBMS families in need during the Fulton County Schools closure due to coronavirus prevention measures.
The Alpharetta Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and the Webb Bridge Middle School Parent Teacher Association kickstarted community fundraisers to raise money for grocery store gift cards for AES and WBMS families in need during the Fulton County Schools closure due to coronavirus prevention measures. (Courtesy Dana Davis)

The Alpharetta Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and the Webb Bridge Middle School Parent Teacher Association kickstarted community fundraisers to raise money for grocery store gift cards for AES and WBMS families in need during the Fulton County Schools closure due to coronavirus prevention measures. (Courtesy Dana Davis)

Amidst the numerous city closures, event cancellations and school closures due to coronavirus prevention efforts, local parent teacher groups rallied to raise more than $20,000 total for families in need at Alpharetta Elementary School and Webb Bridge Middle School.

Fulton County Schools first announced the indefinite closure of all schools March 12, with the closure to begin March 16 and continue until further notice. After Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order closing all public elementary, secondary and post-secondary in Georgia from March 18-31, the FCS closure will remain in effect until at least the end of March.

To help families in need of nutritional support during this time, FCS implemented a food distribution program beginning March 16, in which amilies could drive through or pick up free meals from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Lake Forest and Mimosa elementary schools; Haynes Bridge Middle School; and Tri-Cities, Banneker and Langston Hughes high schools.

However, there are still nutritional and financial gaps for some local families, said Dana Davis, the vice president for student enrichment for the AES parent teacher organization.

Davis said she, AES Principal Kathleen Stamper and other PTO members were discussing what they could do to help families in need during this time after the March 12 FCS indefinite closure announcement. They decided to raise money for grocery store gift cards to be picked up the morning of March 13, and they had about three hours to gather the funds, Davis said.








"I posted on my Facebook at about 6:30 a.m. last Friday, and I had to get the gift cards by 11 a.m. for pickup. I was expecting maybe $3,000 if we were lucky," Davis said.

Davis and her team raised $11,000 in a matter of hours to go toward grocery store gift cards from community members, AES teachers and beyond, which was able to assist about 30 AES families in need.

"We knew people would have holes to fill in [between what FCS offers]. Any time you go from having a kid home only from 2:30 [p.m.] to bedtime is a lot different than having them all day, snacking and eating all their meals at home," Davis said. "I just couldn't believe how much we raised. It just shows the heart of the community, the leadership of our school and the families are all invested. That kind of culture, you can't buy it."

Kimberly Wolf, president of the Webb Bridge Middle School parent-teacher association, said she felt the same. She, WBMS staff and her PTA team started a similar fundraiser and raised more than $15,000 in grocery store gift cards within three days, which helped 104 WBMS families in need. Gift cards were distributed March 18.

"It all was very sudden last week, and we all started panicking for the children we knew depended on those school lunches, ... and not all parents could go pick up the FCS meals," Wolf said. "We had people donating who don't have children at the schools [and] people who used to have children at the schools. ... People just wanted to help."

Donations can still be made to either organization. To donate to AES, Davis said to send donations to the AES PTO PayPal account at aespto1956@gmail.com. To donate to WBMS, visit www.wbmspta.org.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Kara McIntyre

Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the Tomball/Magnolia reporter in September 2018. Prior to CI, Kara served as the editor-in-chief of The Wichitan—Midwestern State University's student-run campus newspaper—and interned with both the Wichita Adult Literacy Council and VeepWorks.


MOST RECENT

A Fulton County Schools teacher works from home while schools are closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Fulton County Schools)
Fulton County Schools moves forward with remote learning plan, graduation despite school closure for rest of the year

Despite the closure of all K-12 public schools for the rest of the school year, Fulton County Schools is continuing with the remote learning plan and did not cancel graduation.

Guests can donate to the GoFundMe, bid in the auction or purchase a gift card to support Fifth Group Restaurants. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
5 coronavirus-related stories Alpharetta readers might have missed

Find recent local stories regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic below.

Following the recently implemented shelter-in-place order, many residents have questions on what they are allowed to do during this time. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: What the statewide shelter-in-place order means for Alpharetta, Milton residents

While the city of Alpharetta and the Fulton County Board of Health both have individual shelter-in-place orders, the statewide order supersedes local ordinances in the event of conflict. Here is a quick look at what the statewide order means.

Woman putting on hand sanitizer
Georgia sees 990% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19.

Construction on Canton Street
Pedestrian improvements underway on Canton Street in Alpharetta

Pedestrian improvements are underway on Canton Street in downtown Alpharetta.

Alpharetta City Council members passed an ordinance April 1, which issued an immediate shelter in place order for all city residents for the next 30 days. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shelter in place ordinance passed by Alpharetta City Council at April 1 emergency meeting, will continue for up to 30 days

Alpharetta City Council members passed an ordinance April 1, which issued an immediate shelter in place order for all city residents for the next 30 days. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gov. Brian Kemp announced a statewide shelter in place order beginning April 3 through April 13, and announced the closure of all K-12 public schools through the rest of the school year. (Screenshot via Facebook Live)
Gov. Brian Kemp orders statewide shelter in place to begin April 3, closes all public schools through remainder of school year

Beginning April 3, all Georgia residents will be under a statewide shelter in place order via Gov. Brian Kemp. Kemp also announced the closure of all K-12 public schools through the rest of the school year.

Construction crews are working on a project to improve the interchange at Windward Parkway and Georgia 400. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Georgia 400 interchange improvements at Windward Parkway in Alpharetta on track for fall completion

Residents of Alpharetta can expect to see construction on the Georgia 400 interchange at Windward Parkway completed by this fall.

Alpharetta City Council members will consider a shelter in place order among other city restrictions at the emergency meeting April 1. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)
Alpharetta City Council to consider shelter in place at emergency meeting April 1

Council members will consider a shelter-in-place order among other city restrictions at the emergency meeting.

Community members can now purchase high-demand grocery store products at Maple Street Biscuit Company through the restaurant's Pantry Project. (Courtesy Shasta Judy)
Alpharetta's Maple Street Biscuit Co. starts meal program for health care workers, offers groceries to community

Community members can now purchase high-demand grocery store products, boxed meals for health care workers and meals for neighbors at Maple Street Biscuit Co.

The city of Alpharetta is urging its residents to reduce their yard and bulky waste so those waste collection services are not cut. (Courtesy Fotolia)
With Alpharetta residents staying home, city sees 'more than 25% increase' in residential waste volumes

With more residents staying at home, the city of Alpharetta is urging its community to reduce yard and bulky waste to help waste collectors.

One lane in each direction on Old Milton Parkway between Hwy. 9 and Wills Road will be closed for road work for two weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
2 lanes of Old Milton Parkway to be closed for road work

One lane in each direction will be closed for two weeks for road work.