Families from across Bloomfield Hills Schools went above and beyond expectations with donations of money and non-perishable food for Gleaners Food Bank. The charity event was coordinated by the BHS Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Council for the annual national Make a Difference Day efforts which culminated on October 23. PTOs at each school held contests like change wars, offered school spirit or pajama days for donations, or otherwise encouraged their students to support the charitable cause with fantastic results. BHS donated $6,729.26 in monetary funds, plus an incredible amount of non-perishable food and personal items.
Erin Watson, a member of the PTO Council Board, noted that all Bloomfield Hills Schools PTOs are members of the PTO Council. “The PTO Council is dedicated to facilitating effective communication, sharing resources, and fostering a leadership network within our school community. Part of what we do is organize Make a Difference Day (MaDD), an annual district-wide outreach event that brings us all together, joining efforts to positively impact our greater community. MADD is about partnerships and support for each other, so that we may cultivate a community of caring, connect communities, and build resiliency.”
Lara Alami chaired the PTOC MaDD Committee. “Since we are back to full-time in-person school this year, still amid the pandemic, we opted for a food-drive focused effort,” explained Alami. “In a normal year, we include an in-person component, which allows students to give time and effort to volunteering with the organization we partner with.” This year donated items were delivered to West Hills Middle School, where they were sorted and organized by students before being picked up by Gleaners.
“Giving our time, sharing our resources, and getting out of our comfort zone are wonderful ways to build community and to build bridges,” said Alami. “It is incredible to see how what we all are able to share accumulates, and how powerful it is when we come together, not only as a school community but as a greater human community. Whatever we can say ‘yes’ to sharing, whether it’s our time, talent, or resources, it feels amazing to be a part of these efforts, and to show up, reach out and share what we have with others.”
The PTOC MaDD committee will begin meeting in the spring of 2022 to plan for the fall event. “We also look forward to providing in-person opportunities for students to volunteer their time as a part of Make a Difference Day in the fall of 2022,” said Alami.