TUPELO • Educators know what their students need and when there are gaps to be filled, teachers and school district employees often step in to make sure their students are fed, clothed and educated sufficiently. Lee County School District was recognized this week for going above and beyond to make sure its students were taken care of this year.
United Way of Northeast Mississippi recognized Lee County School District for having the largest dollar increase workplace campaign over $10,000 this year.
United Way partners with the largest public schools in seven area northeast counties for these workplace campaigns and Lee County ran the biggest public school campaign this year.
“It’s mostly teachers, administrators and some school staff but the majority of it is just the faculty and administration doing payroll deduction just like at all of our other workplace campaigns,” said United Way communications director Robin McKinney.
“Without the support of the school board and the administrators, we would not be able to do it.”
The district raised $66,847, an increase of nearly $14,000 over the previous year, which is the largest dollar increase out of all of the United Way campaigns at the 200 workplaces in the area for 2018.
United Way Campaign Director Mike Mitchell said the campaign did so well this year because reps focused on getting the message to teachers by visiting all of the schools in the seven area counties.
Mitchell said some students, particularly in the elementary schools, come to school just to eat breakfast and lunch, so there has been a push this past year to provide weekend food bags or ‘Blessing Bags’ to hungry students during the school year.
“We are not the only ones that do it but this past year, we issued 27,000 blessing bags. That is tremendous and it is just one example of what happens,” Mitchell said.
David Wilson, president of North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo, was campaign chair for the United Way campaign in 2017-18 and presented the Achievement Award and also a Community Impact Award for total dollars raised that exceeded $50,000 during Wednesday’s school board meeting.
“This is certainly going to have a very large and positive impact on our community,” Wilson said.
“We’re very proud of the employees because it is not just the teachers, it’s not just the administrators, it’s district-wide, it’s everybody that works here,” added LCS Board President Sherry Mask.