Dr. Jimmie Bullard, principal
The Banneker Fund
By Meg Townsend
Every day, families living in poverty face all kinds of emergencies related to basics such as shelter, food, and safety. To help meet the emergency needs of Benjamin Banneker Elementary families, St. Andrew’s established the Banneker Families Fund about three years ago.
The fund’s monies come from the generous donations of St. Andrew’s parishioners, and the fund’s distribution comes under the careful supervision of Alicia Smith, Trauma Sensitive School Clinician, and Dr. Jimmie Bullard, principal.
“The stress some of our families face is incredible,” Smith says. “Just last week, we learned of two single moms who had moved their families into a hotel because they had lost their housing and all the shelters were full due to the cold. At $325 a week, hotel living is only a temporary solution. They needed immediate help, and thanks to St. Andrew’s we were able to provide emergency assistance.”
Since the fund’s inception, monies have gone to fill a gap when other assistance isn’t readily available.
“Currently, there are more needs than we can meet,” says Bullard, “but we are so grateful to be able to distribute these funds to Banneker families who, otherwise, would have no immediate resource. It enables our young students to get to school, learn, socialize and be fed a nutritious meal – sometimes the only one they get all day.”