KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Longfellow Elementary School is thanking the owner of Virgil’s Plant Shop. Reba Hamilton opened her small business’ brick and mortar location back in April and took it upon herself to pay it forward in her new Longfellow neighborhood.
"When you have a small business owner that has no connection with the school at all, just moved in and then says, ‘I wanna help that school if I can,’ and she did it,” said Principal Jimmie Bullard.
Bullard says Hamilton reached out to her over email asking what the students needed ahead of the new school year. In addition to the school supply list, Hamilton donated additional items like water bottles, face masks, hand sanitizers and brand new headphones. She ran a donation drive at her business and her family also donated $1,000 to the cause.
“It was like one of those moments when you wanna cry,” Bullard said.
Bullard says donations like this lift the financial burdens off of many families she serves. Parents are now able to put their money aside for utilities or food at home.
“90% of our students are 'free and reduced lunch,' so that is huge,” Bullard said.
It has been a challenging year meeting the needs of her students and their families, but Bullard is grateful that the humanity found in her neighborhood is upholding their mission of I can, I will, I believe.
“When you have a community that puts their arms around you and believes in you, as a school and as a community, then we can do anything,” Bullard said.