And some businesses give of their time, such as Dana Richards with Adams Orthodontics.
“They work with just about every elementary school and do a lot of dental and health-care education, said Wilson. “Time is one of the most valuable resources. It’s often one of the hardest to give, but it means a lot to the kids. They have their parents and teachers telling them things, but when someone comes in, that’s way cooler than your parents telling you something.
“You know, we’ll often have a partner who says they can’t do much, that they can only do one little thing,” said Wilson. “But all those little things add up to make a huge difference. There is nothing so small that a partner does that it does not make a difference.”
Along with CPIE, Teachers Harvest, a part of Second Harvest food bank, also strives to make a difference. Since its opening, Teachers Harvest has served more than 2,500 teachers, distributing more than $1.25 million in products ranging from filing cabinets to pencils and from desk chairs to construction paper. The difference it and CPIE make go far beyond the numbers.
“With budgets getting tighter and tighter, classrooms have been hit from every direction,” said Charlie Crews, franchise operator Chick-Fil-A on St. Augustine, who, along with the other Chick-Fil-A establishments in town, is part of CPIE. “But when the community gets together to provide these services on a continual basis, it lets teachers, administrators and students know they’re valued. It’s like that old saying: It takes a community to raise a child.”