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The Beat Goes On . . . Thankfully

Within a few months of my taking over as President of the Putnam City Schools Foundation, I learned that I would be losing the leader of one of our district’s most impressive programs. How was I going to find a person who would willingly give up hundreds of hours without an ounce of pay? Who wants to shop for strangers, sit at a computer until you are numb, or sweetly beg people to sign up to help, all at Christmastime??

Many of you have guessed I’m talking about CareShare, a program started 35 years ago by Penny Poe to help children “hold on to their hopes at Christmastime.” It’s part of our district’s fabric, and we needed the right person!

Well, thankfully there is a woman who was willing, and she luckily knows far more about the process of CareShare than I do — Dondra Floresca. She is off to a great start this year, and we are really proud of her. I recently learned that when Dondra was at Putnam City West High School she was in a Future Business Leaders class, in which Ms. Carroll taught the kids the importance of giving back. That class hosted a Christmas party for abused children that year. “I will NEVER forget their little faces when Santa entered their room,” Dondra told me. She credits this experience with leading her to do years of volunteer work with CareShare, culminating now in her leadership of the program.

If you have any interest in adopting a family for CareShare, it’s easy, and we need you! The form is on the main page of our website under “Quick Links.” You can choose how many children you want, and in a few weeks, you’ll get information about your family. Take that list with you to buy them some necessities and a few fun things, then deliver it all unwrapped to the school at the appropriate time. It’s simple, and meaningful, and the right thing to do.

If you’re like me and don’t like to shop, or maybe you don’t know what to buy young people, you can always make a gift exclusively for this program on our website, or by check.

It is a real gift to be able to continue this program that provides joy all over Putnam City on Christmas Day. Thank you, Dondra, for keeping it all together!

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