CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The Cheektowaga Central Retirees made a special donation to the Cheektowaga Central Middle School and Union East Elementary School Thursday.
Retired kindergarten teacher Susan Leonardi and her husband Pat dropped off school supplies to the classrooms which were donated by the group.
The group has around 85 members and consists of retired administrators, faculty, staff, and school board members of the district. Around five years ago the members decided that they wanted to give back to the community.
“We have been doing gift certificates at Christmas time for families who were in need of things, and we’d start with school supplies too because it’s an easy way to get things together. Everyone who taught knows what they needed in each grade, the administrators in the group know what everybody needed, and then we just ran with it for the next five years,” said Ms. Leonardi.
They stopped by the middle school first around 11:30 Thursday morning. School Counselor Melissa Goc welcomed the donation.
“It benefits us in so many ways; the students that unfortunately don’t have the opportunity to have their own supplies, and the teachers who come to school and bring their own supplies for students like that,” said Ms. Goc.
“We have students who are worried that they don’t have what they need so when we’re able to this to them it’s amazing, and it’s a feeling of comfort for them, and that helps us,” added Ms. Goc.
Teachers who have moved away from the area have even embraced the idea.
“Some of the teachers who live in Florida have sent donations, and if they don’t want to shop, I’ll take their money, and I’ll do the shopping for them,” Ms. Leonardi says with a laugh.
Ms. Goc says the support of the retirees for the past five years is incredible and she continued, “We’re really, really, thankful, this goes above and beyond what we expect, and it’s always really nice.”