SFA group makes donation to NISD

SFA group makes donation to NISD
Posted on 12/11/2019
SFA group makes donation to NISD

A Stephen F. Austin State University group made a donation this week to Nacogdoches ISD social workers of gift cards and undergarments, both of which will be used to benefit students within the district.

Phi Upsilon Omicron, the honor society within SFA’s family and consumer sciences program, began its fundraising program in October to battle childhood poverty by partnering with Walmart to provide mats for pre-K students to use for nap time.

On Dec. 4, Phi Upsilon Omicron president Sierra Smith and vice president Tracie Estepp presented dozens of bags full of new undergarments for use by NISD students. The socks and underwear were collected at Lumberjack Harley-Davidson, M&S Pharmacy, Tipton Ford and through various SFASU departments. The items will be distributed by social workers on the district’s campuses on an individual, as needed basis.

Phi Upsilon also provided Walmart gift cards donated by Austin Heights Baptist Church, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, the law firm Fairchild, Price, Haley and Smith LLP, Walmart and individual donors totaling $1,105. The cards can be used by NISD social workers to make need-based purchases for students and their families.

“The use of these gift cards will be on a case-by-case basis,” NISD social worker Lauren Ivy Sieja said. “We will first work to connect families with community resources and programs that can meet their needs and then access the donations provided or use the gift cards for those unmet needs.”

The program seeks to benefit NISD students that come to school with the most pressing needs.

“Socks and underwear are usually the most expensive and most requested needs that we find” said Sieja. “so having access to brand new socks and underwear is wonderful.” 

“I like that I can hear a need from a teacher, and can say, ‘I’ll be right back,’ and go get what’s needed,” said Ashley Helmer, a social worker at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary.

All of the items donated as well as the gift cards will be used to help students at all NISD campuses, Sieja said.

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