Toward the end of each year, the staff at Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool receive a holiday bonus. This year they gave $1,000, the sum of their bonuses, to the Bryan County Children’s Fund.
Marcy Young, director of RHMP, suggested the idea. When her husband had mentioned he would not be receiving a bonus this year, she said it made her realize that many others also would not due to the rough economy.
"We are so blessed here (at RHMP) and giving back to the community seemed like the thing to do," Young said.
When she shared her idea with her staff, Young said they unanimously supported it and were excited about giving money to help families in the area.
"I wish I had thought about doing this myself," said Patricia Miller, a long-time teacher at RHMP. "I’m so glad Marcy came up with the idea…because we need to help the children in this county."
Bryan County Children’s Fund is particularly meaningful to the staff at the preschool since it is a program with the goal of ensuring that children living in Bryan County have a holiday to look forward to.
Local organizations, businesses, churches, schools and individuals "adopt" children each year and provide for them winter clothing and at least two toys on each child’s wish list. Any child not adopted out by an outside source is provided for directly by BCCF through donations.
Audrey Singleton, owner of RHMP, and Young have seen the effects of the economy on many Richmond Hill residents and they want to help relieve the financial burden of the holidays for these families. They note that those who are helped by BCCF can be neighbors, fellow church goers or even children at the preschool.
Singleton said she noticed the effects of the recession particularly in January and February. In the first quarter of the year, she said that 17 parents of students at the school lost their jobs.
Wendy Sims is the coordinator of Bryan County Family Connection, the local collaborative that oversees the children’s fund.-Read more in the Bryan County News.