An elementary school teacher in North Carolina tells her students at the end of every class that she loves each and every one of them. And even though winter break means students have more than a week off of school, Turquoise LeJeune Parker is making sure they they are loved during the break.
She created a fundraiser to pay for food to help her students who face food insecurity, raising $106,000 to help those in need.
"It's a basic human right. We're not talking about raising money to buy people a vacation; this is food, a very, very basic thing. We need to make sure we take care of our schools, because when we take care of our schools, we're taking care of our community," she told CNN.
Ms. Parker's Professors Fundraiser used the $106,000 to purchase, package and distribute 5,200 bags full of food to students not only at Lakewood Elementary School in Durham where she teaches, but 12 schools in total in the Durham district.
The food is going towards children who rely on the free or low-cost meals provided by the school, many of whom rely on the school meals as their main source of food every day. During the holidays, school cafeterias are shut down, taking away the food from the kids who need it.
"Mrs. Parker has always had an army of donors and volunteers at the ready, to champion the needs of her students. What's so impressive is that these efforts have provided students across Durham the same fortune; in this case, of receiving a substantial portion of food over the extended holiday break," Lakewood Elementary School Principal James Hopkins told CNN.