This month in Lawyers Give Back we’re shining the spotlight on the unsung heroes of thriving public school communities—parent-teacher organizations. In particular, we gave a billable hour to two such organizations—Eakin Elementary PTO and West End Middle School PTSO, which are both within arm’s reach of Anthony Legal HQ here in Nashville and happen to be where Anthony Legal’s future partners are currently enrolled.
Let’s begin by saying this is not a plug to give to these specific schools, but rather a plea to give to any public school PTO. Pick the one you drive by on your way to work. Pick the one that’s closest to where you live. Pick one randomly off a list. There’s no wrong choice here—literally every public school PTO is deserving and in need of your support.
As public school parents and longtime PTO volunteers, we can attest that donations are put to good use. In many cases, PTOs use donations to buy classroom supplies that aren’t otherwise covered by the school budget. They use money raised to show their teachers and staff much-needed appreciation. They use funds to build community by hosting events like school carnivals and fun runs. In other cases, which are obviously more important, PTOs use donations to fill empty backpacks with food and warm clothes to go home at the end of the week or before a long holiday break.
In the case of Eakin, the PTO is helping fund a new playground that won’t just benefit the students, but also the community at large, including patients and families of patients at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
We’re in the throes of it right now, with two kids at two schools, but we also see how easy it can be to detach from local public schools and their needs. Maybe your kids don’t attend. Maybe you don’t have kids. Maybe you feel like your property tax bill is donation enough. Maybe you’re wondering what impact one donation could have.
Most PTOs have small budgets and modest fundraising goals. So, maybe a little from all of us could be a lot for them? Speaking from experience, it doesn’t take much to fill an empty backpack with a weekend’s worth of groceries. We hope you’ll join us in supporting your local school PTO.