During a routine check and connect, a parent informed Tangela Hall, the CIS coordinator at Smith High School, that she couldn’t provide for her children for Christmas. The help she expected did not materialize.
Ms. Hall began making phone calls to community partners, only to learn that their resources had tapped out. Ms. Hall then reached out to Ms. Rinda Estes, social worker extraordinary and the CISGG assistant director for case management/program operations. Ms. Estes initiated another round of calls and emails only to learn that her sources had cut off appeals for help. Ms. Estes secured two coats for the students from the supply in the CIS storage donated by AT&T Call Center workers.
As a last resort, Ms. Estes reached out to Jimmi Williams, the executive director, and asked what CIS could do directly. From emergency funds donated to CIS from its board of directors, advisory council members and the community at large, CIS donated $300.00 to offer help for the students. With this support, Ms. Hall took the children shopping. They received four (4) outfits each, socks, undergarments, journals, football, basketball, doll babies, family board games, comforter sets, pillows, throw blankets, drawing kits, gift cards, etc. The family was very happy and overjoyed by the abundance of gifts that they received. The family called CIS coordinator on Christmas day and informed her that the children were thankful and she stated that it was the best Christmas ever.
This represents what the village can do to make it happen for our students and families. The village is not a theory. In our work, it is a formidable part of our daily operations and integrated student supports.