By Suzanne Schmidt
LAND O’ LAKES—Through the ABC program, students in Land O’ Lakes High School get the help they need whether it is for school supplies or funds to buy food.
Donations of money and supplies come to the school through people and businesses like Publix. The donations have been great. The only problem was the closet storing the supplies was unorganized until recently, when the owners of Office Assistance Plus and The Organizing Queen came together to donate their time to fix the problem.
Jann McHollan, coordinator and counselor for the performance-based diploma program at the school, works to coordinate the ABC (Assist, Believe, Care) program. Students receiving help from the ABC program have to fill out an application to qualify. Typically the students are receiving a free or reduced lunch or are otherwise in need.
“We had a store room filled with donations from the faculty, staff, people from the community and Publix,” McHollan said. “The storage closet is full of supplies like notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, binders and back packs. The supplies were separated but not organized. When a kid would present himself and tell us they need supplies, we would have to hunt down what they needed.”
Lisa Assetta, owner of Office Assistance Plus, and Betty Arnold, owner of The Organizing Queen, often work together on organization projects. They were both looking for a non-profit organization to help since it was Get Organized month in January, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers or NAPO.
“We set out to find a community organization that couldn’t afford the help but needed it,” Assetta said. “We wanted to donate our time and expertise to help make a positive impact.”
At first, Assetta thought it was a good idea just because it was a school but then she found out what the program was doing.
“I didn’t realize there were students in school that were classified as homeless,” Assetta said. “I like the program because it is helping families who can’t afford to get supplies for their children. Just being able to give back to the community is the best part about this.”
First McHollan had to clean out the storage closet of all the supplies and then she set up some shelving. The organizing team were able to re-use bins and shelving so there was no cost to complete the project.
“It is wonderful,” McHollan said. “Instead of sifting through everything and trying to find what we need, now we can go right to it. We can also see when we need more supplies. It will help out next year when we are getting supplies because we will be able to pick up what we are running low on.”
Assetta and Arnold organized the contents of the closet into bins and put everything away in the closet all in one day. Assetta then decided to take it a step further and create spreadsheets to keep track of all the supplies.
“The system will help out during peak times like back to school,” Assetta said. “This way they can make sure they have ample supplies. It was great to be in a school and get to help out the students. We were able to make a good impact because now they will have a good functioning room for years to come.”
For information about Office Assistance Plus, visit OfficeAssistancePlus.com or call (813) 760-6198 and for information about The Organizing Queen, visit OrgQueen.com or call (813) 961-4755.
For more information on the ABC program or to donate, contact Anita Snider at (813) 794-9400.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.