Blog Post - Mar 12, 2019

It Takes A Village

Kristy, Dairyland’s Financial Controller, shares about the needs of local schools and how she chooses to be part of the solution.

As a working mom I realize there are many days that my daughter will spend more time at school with her teachers than with me. While that’s a sad thought, it’s a reality for many households and it makes me want to help ensure that their experiences at school are the best they can be. We all want the best for our kids, and our schools frequently need extra help; even small amounts make a big difference.

Kristy The Dairyland Cow
Kristy & the Dairyland cow volunteering for the school’s good behavior celebration day for kids

Did you know that teachers, out of their own pockets, buy Chapstick in the winter to keep our kids’ gentle lips from chapping? Or that they buy Kleenex for their tender little noses because those provided by the schools are like sandpaper? I didn’t until my daughter asked if we could send some to school to help restock the teacher’s supply. Our teachers do little things every day to care for our children that parents frequently don’t even realize, and that’s why I volunteer with the Cambridge K-12 Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

I’m the treasurer for the PTO in the city where I live and the school that my daughter attends. I help with financial matters, fundraising ideas, and participate with fundraisers. Our overall mission is to enhance educational and extracurricular experiences for all children in our district. We are a small nonprofit with no employees and a small, passionate core group of volunteers, so we try to be very intentional with our activities.

Our resources are used to provide financial support for activities the school otherwise wouldn’t be able to offer, such as roller skate rentals, a traveling STEAM museum for the elementary school, cross country ski sets for the middle school, and a clay pug mill for the high school. These costs are outside the school’s budget and wouldn’t be provided without the PTO support. We also help with special requests which allow students who need financial help the ability to participate in programs with their peers so they don’t get left out.

PTO Pizza Fundraiser
PTO Pizza Fundraiser

Beyond the financial resources we provide, we help connect the community to our schools. We engage community members to help with or attend fundraisers and to learn more about our schools and the community that supports it. We recruit students to learn about what it takes to help support the activities that provide some of the benefits they enjoy.

Making pizzas 4x per year as a fundraiser is a wonderful way for people (mostly moms) to connect about experiences with our children while providing support and friendship. I’ve grown my circle of mom friends tremendously though this and we help each other in ways that are invaluable at times.

We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child and that is so true. I appreciate the flexibility and volunteer opportunities Dairyland has provided me to be active with our children, schools, and my community.

I can see the impact of living engaged and the truth behind our logo when I look at how much opportunity and happiness can come from engaging with something you care about.