Douglas County schools provide presents, hope to students at DCSD charter school
ENGLEWOOD - Students and staff at several Douglas County schools have shown their generosity this holiday season, gathering presents for their less-fortunate counterparts at HOPE Online Learning Academy.
“The outpouring of donations has been incredible. People have pulled out their pocketbooks and written checks and donated presents and adopted families,” Melanie Stone, HOPE Online’s director of activities and athletics said. “Our first year we started with 30 families. We went to 60, 90 and this year we have jumped to 155 families.”
Three Douglas County School District Schools (DCSD) participated in the effort this year, including Roxbourgh, Redstone and Timber Trail Elementary Schools. Timber Trail's Before and After School Program alone adopted 16 families.
The families are able to ask for gifts for all of the children in their family, not just HOPE students. Additionally, HOPE encourages them to identify clothing, food and other household needs they may have.
“My heart has been heavy for the past few weeks because I’ve heard some really hard stories,” Stone said.
The holiday drive, is one of the many ways that HOPE works to support their student’s families throughout the year. For instance, in January they hold a book drive and hygiene product drive in March. Additionally, 19 DCSD schoolsd donate unclaimed Lost and Found items, helping to stock HOPE’s clothing bank.
Stone says these efforts help their students to stay focused on learning.
“If survival needs aren't met, academic progress suffers.” Stone said. “A big part of HOPE is trying to take care of the entire family.”
Learn more about how you can help, by contacting Melanie Stone at melanie.stone[at]hopeonline[dot]org.