Fair Oaks Elementary has been taking advantage of several opportunities to serve their local community. Recognizing that educational and nutritional needs don’t stop over the summer, the school has been proactive in finding ways to meet those needs for their students and their families.
To encourage reading and learning, Fair Oaks hosts a Mobile Book tour once a week. Essentially a lending library on wheels, a guest surprises the students and reads a book to children in various locations near the school. Children have been showing up regularly and have expressed appreciation for the weekly event. You can learn more about the Fair Oaks Summer Book Mobile here.
Fair Oaks has also partnered with nearby Mosaic Church in Marietta to ensure that families in the community are well-stocked with necessary food and toiletry items. In fact, Mosaic Church and Pastor Adrian Coetzer have been closely involved with Fair Oaks Elementary for over a year.
“They were strong supporters of our own Fresh Market and Eagles Closet,” said Principal Dean Yoder.
“They donated items on a weekly basis to help our families out,” he continued. “When schools were shut down this year due to COVID-19, Pastor Adrian opened the church to us so we could still take care of the needs of our Fair Oaks families. Shortly after, we decided to combine our efforts and resources to create a once-a-week food distribution day to serve all families in this area.”
Receiving regular donations from many notable Cobb County organizations and businesses—from MUST Ministries and Storehouse Ministries, to Northwest Exterminating and Tip Top Poultry—the Fair Oaks and Mosaic partnership has been able to distribute literally tons of food to over 600 families in the local community.
Principal Yoder reports that more than 7,800 boxes of food have been donated and distributed since March, including more than 15,000 pounds of chicken and meat, thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables, and more than 3,500 gallons of milk. In total, that is enough food to serve more than 31,000 individuals.
“In addition to that,” Principal Yoder said, “we have given out over 200 boxes of diapers, 750 packs of wipes, 120 containers of laundry detergent, and over 1,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other toiletry items.”
The partnership also included the distribution of three dozen donated twin mattresses.
“We sometimes forget that the family budget requires more than just food,” added Principal Yoder. “By providing diapers, toiletries, and other items, we are able to reduce additional financial burdens and the stress that comes with making ends meet during times like this. By providing these extras, we are hopefully reducing the stress and anxiety that comes with trying to stay afloat.”
Pastor Adrian praised the community partnership.
“The change that has been affected is deeper than just a plate of food on the table. For half a year, a community has rallied to find, sort, pack, and distribute food to those in need. It shows that we can make a difference. Together we are doing so much more than we could have individually,” Pastor Adrian explained.
“What one mother said to me summed it up,” said Principal Yoder, “She said, ‘Thank you so much for taking care of all of us.’ Without our partnership with Mosaic, we would have not been able to sustain what we have been doing since March on a weekly basis.”
“But just as much as it has positively impacted our community,” he continued reflectively, “it has done the same for everyone who has been volunteering their time. You can see the positive difference it makes in all of our lives. Being part of something so incredibly giving, really changes you as a person.”