Let’s say you’re a school principal in need of some extra student uniforms, specifically, uh … khakis?
What do you do? In the case of Westwood Middle, you reach out to your good neighbor: the State Farm operations center in Winter Haven.
Westwood Middle Principal Todd Bennett needed the khakis to help stock the school’s clothing closet, which serves students in need. He first reached out to PCPS Community Liaison Dr. Steve Warner, who in turn contacted State Farm, one of our district’s valued community partners.
State Farm graciously responded to Westwood’s need with an employee-driven campaign to purchase and donate pants and shorts of various sizes. They ultimately donated 100 khakis, and contributed an additional $1,000 to support Westwood’s clothing closet.
“State Farm associates take pride in our communities and giving back to our neighbors. Partnering with Westwood to support the clothes closet provided a great opportunity to get involved and make a difference,” said Jennifer Dorris, a team manager with State Farm.
Principal Bennett says the donated khakis have a greater impact than most might realize.
“Having uniform pants on hand eliminates barriers that are outside of a student’s control,” he said. “Students are now able to come dressed like every other child — in new clothes, looking good and feeling good. The assistance helps students get the resources they need to be successful while improving their self-esteem and confidence.”
Dr. Warner emphasized the vital role that community partners play in our school district. He praised State Farm and its employees for staying involved with Polk schools.
“Without their enthusiastic support, many of our projects and initiatives would be not as effective, or they wouldn’t exist,” Dr. Warner said.