Change from vending machines at a large Bullitt County company turned into thousands of dollars in donations.
Amazon Fulfillment Center (formerly Zappos) presented a check for $11,945 to the Bullitt County Public Schools Family Resource and Youth Service Centers.
“I am well pleased with the amount we were able to raise for the BCPS Family Resource Centers to assist them in meeting the uniform/school clothing needs of students in our community,” said Amazon’s Community Relations Director Dustin Henderson.
The check presentation took place on the porch of the Woodsdale one-room schoolhouse. Officials from Amazon included General Manager Al Ondreka, GM Assistant Grace Kressler, HR Business Partner Stefanie Walls, Facilities Tech Chris Beavers and Henderson. School officials included Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Becky Sexton, Social Worker Linda Nason, District Grant Writer Juliann Vachon, Title IX Coordinator/Social Worker Susan Bibelhauser, FRC’s Tammy Perdew (Cedar Grove/Lebanon Junction Elementary Schools), Sherri Bishop (Brooks/Freedom Elementary Schools), Traci Gould (Shepherdsville/Nichols Elementary Schools), Jacey Smothers (Mt. Washington/Roby Elementary Schools), Betty Marshall (Maryville/Overdale Elementary Schools), Tara Davis (Bernheim/Bullitt Lick Middle Schools), Tonia Wiggins (Bullitt Central High School) and Jennifer Sawaya (Hebron Middle School/North Bullitt High School)
Tammy Perdew said decreased state funding means school staff scramble to make up the amount.
“Our center is so excited to receive these funds from Amazon,” she said. “It could not have arrived at a better time. Each year the amount our center receives is less than the year before and this has been the case for several years.”
Although the overall state budget has not been reduced, the amount each center receives is less because there are more free lunch students.
“These numbers have been on the rise for several years,” Perdew explained. “So the more free lunches in the state the less per center. It all comes from the same pot of money that has not increased.”
Perdew will use her portion of the donation for clothing needs, summer camps and programming throughout the year at both Cedar Grove and Lebanon Junction.
“These funds will alleviate much stress for the search for resources come August,” she affirmed. “I appreciate Amazon thinking about what we do as Family Resource and Youth Services Centers for students and families and giving us the opportunity to meet those needs through this much needed financial contribution!”
Jacey Smothers shared equal sentiments.
“I am extremely excited about this very generous donation from Amazon,” she said. “They are a very community oriented company and we are thankful for all they do for our students and families.
The money will go toward providing uniforms for Roby students in need.
“We have many families at Roby that need assistance with obtaining shoes and clothing and this donation will help us meet those needs throughout the entire school year,” Smothers said.
Jennifer Sawaya plans to use the funds to assist families with clothing.
“This includes pants such as school uniforms, jeans and sweat pants, uniform and regular shirts, under garments and whatever else would be useful to the students I serve,” she said. “It is very important to remove the barriers for students so they can have the best opportunity to be successful individuals.”
Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.