Teaching is one of the most essential careers; committing to developing future generations is a truly noble cause. Teachers do the job diligently and humbly, without seeking praise or recognition. Thankfully, though, they get it anyway, sometimes from unexcepted places. Rustic Cuff owner Jill Donovan posted a video to social media stating that she wanted to give back to teachers for the start of school and that she did.
Rustic Cuff’s warehouse was opened to teachers from 3-7 p.m. for two-days. During those days, teachers could present their badge and receive a free cuff. More than 700 teachers showed up. After the two-day event, Jill told her employees that she wanted to give them Friday off. All she requested was that at some point during the day they take time to bless someone.
Lauren McKenzie, who is a special education teacher at Grimes, has a cousin and aunt that work for Rustic Cuff. They decided to visit Grimes and present all of the teachers with cuffs, cookies, and pencils.
Jill decided to join them for the visit. She surprised Lauren and informed her she wanted to purchase everything on her Amazon Wishlist, a list she made knowing her students would need a lot of extra items.
“I chose inexpensive but effective items like; fidget bands for desks, fidget sensory rings, giant poster board post-it notes, reading letter blocks, a file organizer for my IEPs, balance balls for alternative seating, and a few other items. I made the list so that if my mom or dad asked me what I needed I could have everything very organized. I had no idea that someone was going to purchase everything from my list,” said Lauren.
Gestures like these help teachers start the new year feeling supported and appreciated.
“I truly believe this was a once in a lifetime for most of the teachers. They were ecstatic,” said Principal Kristen Smith. “Community involvement is huge. This year we have gained back a strong community partner in Harvard Avenue Christian Church. They are doing mentoring, teacher prep help, club participation, teacher luncheons, and high five lines for our students. Rustic Cuff assured us that they want to be a partner also and encouraged us to reach out when we have needs.”
With no more worries about school supplies, Lauren is geared up and ready to get the school year started.
“I felt humbled and honored to be chosen for their big blessing. It is easy to spend a lot of money on my kiddos because I truly want to be able to help them in the most effective way possible. I chose this career because I wanted to make the biggest impact possible on as many kids as I can. This experience makes me feel very hopeful for the future of education because of people in the community that want the best for our kiddos too.” said Lauren.
Grimes Elementary School’s first day is Wednesday, August 21st. Please view the back to school page for additional information.