United Way fundraisers aren’t usually associated with public schools, but Ardmore City Schools lends a hand every year anyway.
The district raised a total of $7,119 this year through a combination of a mail-out fundraising campaign encouraging employees to donate and smaller student fundraisers held by individual schools.
ACS Indian Education Director Kimberly Smith said she’s been organizing the annual fundraiser since 2001, but it’s possible the fundraiser predates her time with the district.
“I hate asking for donations, but we always have willing sponsors who step up and support it,” Smith said.
The district starts sending letters out in September, asking for employees to donate what they can. Everyone who donates receives an Ardmore Tigers T-shirt as thanks.
“Our students also, at many schools, do little fundraisers,” Smith said.
United Way recognized Jefferson Elementary School for their 100 percent participation rate.
United Way of South Central Oklahoma Director tobi daniel Ervin said Take Two Academy, Lincoln and Jefferson Elementary Schools participated this year with student fundraisers that brought in money as well. Ardmore High Schools’ cheerleaders held their own by collecting more than $100 in coins at footballs games. Smith said the district’s goal is usually around $6,500.
“That’s about an average,” Smith said. “Sometimes, we’re a bit higher or we might not quite reach it. We’ve been surpassing that goal.”
The school district is not a United Way partner, though alternate education school Take Two Academy is.
“Our students get to benefit from those organizations that United Way supports,” Smith said. “They’re willing to support United Way because they see that.”