In our town of Paducah, Kentucky sits an elementary school named George Rogers Clark Elementary School. Clark School was established in 1938 just one year after Family Service Society was established. Clark School has an impeccable reputation for academics, sports, music, arts, and community involvement.
Family Service Society has been fortunate enough to have Clark School as a partner. This past Christmas in 2015, Clark School children brought in over 1000 cans of food for our food pantry. They lovingly donated these canned good items and then gathered them together for our center.
(Jessie Shanks, 5th Grader at Clark School)
Clark has been actively helping us in this way for many years. Family Service Society works closely with the Family Resource Center at Clark School to help if there are children that are in need of clothing, school supplies or food. We also work closely with each other to share resources. If there is something that we receive that we know will be better utilized at Clark we call their coordinator, Robyn West, to share. For example, we received several cases of brand new stuffed animals and books from Kohl's Department store. This was a fabulous donation but we weren't sure we were the right recipients. We asked Robyn if she could use them and she was ecstatic. She used the books in a reading program and the stuffed animals as rewards. It was a perfect fit.
But it seems that this partnership with Clark did not just start 10 years ago, it has been an ongoing partnership since the beginning of both of these establishments. Clark was established in 1938 and Family Service Society was established in 1927. They found a partnership early on and it has been a long lasting one.
Below is a letter that I found in a box of some of our history items:
In 1939, a class of 2nd graders made baskets for some of our clients for Thanksgiving. How incredibly wonderful that the teacher of this class felt it important to teach these children about service to their community.
I write this because I think it is incredibly amazing that Clark School and Family Service Society have been partnering since 1939. That children can help others in their community and begin to learn about it at an early age. I also write about this because I feel partnerships are so vital to the success of Family Service Society. We work with so many wonderful people in our community that truly believe in our mission of helping those is in crisis situations. These may be individuals who donate clothes, donate food, or make a monetary donation. We partner with companies who sponsor our BBQ on the River fundraising efforts and our IRON MOM event which helps support our annual budget. We have companies in town that support what we do and so that when Family Service Society has a crisis such as when our roof leaks they will come and help us out with this problem. We also work with dentists, pharmacies and other organizations that help provide quality services to our clients.
Partnership is essential to our success each day at Family Service Society. It allows us to serve our clients more effectively, more efficiently, and with more love.. Through donations of time, money, service or items we can better serve our community.
We are blessed beyond measure that Clark Elementary School, its staff and students, are supportive of Family Service Society and its mission.