Over the past year, Tomoka has collected thousands of pounds of food, water bottles, clothes and more to bless local schools throughout Volusia County.

“It all started with Bunnell Elementary,” said Lead Pastor Joe Putting. “We got a call from them, and they needed help. The way the laws are written, we couldn’t use our Food Pantry because we’re in Volusia County and they’re in Flagler County.”

Since that phone call took place, Tomoka has provided Bunnell Elementary students with all kinds of snacks, headphones, turkeys for Thanksgiving, gifts for Christmas and Easter and so much more.

“Some of our students come to school lacking basic needs,” said Bunnell Elementary’s principal, Marcus Sanfilippo. “They’ll come to school dirty, with ripped clothes and shoes that don’t fit.”

Sanfilippo stated that students and their families were surprised, and very appreciative of the outreach efforts by Tomoka.

“Having your organization reach out to us had a very positive impact on the culture of our building. The kids really appreciated the support, and I know their families did too. All of these things go a long way,” said Sanfilippo. “Our school district and our state do a great job providing breakfast and lunches for our students, but the other times, like during recess, it’s been great having an additional resource to provide snacks.”

The water bottles that were donated were also a huge blessing, because water fountains were not usable when schools opened back up after the pandemic. Now that schools are meeting back in person, Bunnell Elementary is looking for volunteers to help out in a number of ways.

“Due to COVID, we really couldn’t have volunteers, and I think having adults on our campus that will care for, and mentor kids would be fantastic,” said Sanfilippo. “We can use volunteers in classrooms, in the media center, the cafeteria, reading to students and more. There’s a lot of great ways for people to help out.”

If you would like to spend a few hours each month helping out at Bunnell Elementary School, click on the button below to find their contact information.