Development Director Crissi Jenkins said the NECA-IBEW Electricians gift card donation will make the holidays brighter for families-in-need who have children at Potential Development School for Students with Autism.
A group of representatives from IBEW Local 64, IBEW Local 573 and Mahoning Valley NECA toured the Elementary/Middle School and presented $1,000 in grocery and gas gift cards to the school to give to families who can use a lift this holiday season.
“Life can be tough at times, and these gifts will go a long way toward helping our families,” Jenkins said.
She added that nearly two-thirds of Potential Development’s 200-plus students qualify for free lunches, and about half are Youngstown residents.
The school maintains a food pantry that’s frequented by dozens of families and is looking into a clothing center to help students who don’t always have warm clothes to wear.
“When we were made aware of the need among the student families, we were told an anecdote about a single parent who literally ran out of gas while in the drop-off lane at the school one recent morning and who didn’t have the means to put enough gas in her car to get back home,” said Tom Lipka, executive director, Mahoning Valley NECA. “It was all we needed to hear to want to step in and help.”
The NECA-IBEW Electricians reps walked the halls, visited the sensory room, library, activity room and multiple classrooms where they met some of the students and staff.
“The school and staff were impressive, and the kids were so polite, friendly and happy to see visitors there,” said Scott Satterlee, president, IBEW Local 64. “Our community is fortunate to have such a resource for young people on the autism spectrum. The opportunity to visit made a lasting impression on all of us.”