BY LANA SPENDL | AUGUST 30, 2019When Templeton Elementary School began a donation drive for students experiencing homelessness in 2016, IU Working Moms rushed in to help. That year, 24 Templeton students were experiencing homelessness. The school’s parent-teacher organization wanted to offer them care packages for the winter break.
Amanda Peterson, IU Working Moms co-founder and associate director of Financial Aid and Records at IU’s School of Optometry, shared the information with IU Working Moms via Facebook and email.
The group’s members responded immediately. The issue hit close to home. “The thought of the forthcoming winter break, when these children would not only not have a home but also wouldn’t have food that they are used to receiving for breakfast and lunch each day at school—it was just something that made us all think,” Peterson said.
The women began to purchase extra soap and toothpaste while shopping for their own families. They filled their carts with granola bars, fruit cups, and crackers. When the group’s December meeting time arrived, the members gathered in the Tudor Room at the Indiana Memorial Union to assemble their offerings.
Peterson packed everything into reusable market bags and a rolling suitcase. She then drove to the offices of the women who could not attend the meeting and picked up their donations, as well. She managed to fill the large trunk of her Honda CR-V twice.
“When we got to the school and unloaded, the atrium was overflowing with donations,” Peterson said. “You could barely walk in.” When the drive concluded, the Templeton PTO was able to not only offer students packages for the winter—it was able to offer each student a monthly package until summer break, as well.