“I do it for the kids.”
And anyone who spends a spare moment with her knows it’s true.
Deb DeLooff has been serving the students of Allendale for seven years, making sure that no one goes without and no one gets cold. Her job is a collection of efforts ranging from partnering with community support groups such as Love Inc. to maintaining a closet with snow pants and sweatshirts.
She knows that in this difficult economic climate, too many families are finding cupboards bare and closets sparse. No parent wants to send their child to school without essentials like hats and mittens, but the truth is, some do not have a choice.
That’s when Deb, with discreet assistance from classroom teachers and her own watchful eyes, identifies students in grades DK – 12 who could benefit from a hand up.
Shopping sales and accepting donations year-around enables Mrs. DeLooff to keep a stocked closet with clothes for emergencies (like a bloody nose) or a coat for borrowing when a zipper breaks on the playground.
In the fall, Deb tries her best to keep a nice variety of Halloween costumes available for DK – 3rd graders. She also applies for and secures book grants so that free books can be purchased and gifted to families during January’s Literacy night.
Mrs. DeLooff is also happy to act as a “Holiday Helper,” sending home letters with every student offering help for families over the Christmas break. This year, with the help of Allendale teachers and staff members and the partnership of Love Inc. and several local churches, nearly ninety Allendale families received some sort of assistance! That translates into 250 APS kids!
As Student Services Coordinator, Deb additionally acts as one of the supervisors at the Oakwood Homework Center. Designed to offer students extra time to use a computer or just receive extra help with concepts. She admits that some come for other reasons:
“We have students who just love the interaction time we give them in the Homework Center. We know all their names and are happy to sit and talk with them. Sometimes that’s all they want.”
If you’ve been given a reason to smile because of the efforts of our Student Services Coordinator, drop her a note or give her a high-five next time you see her. After all, you’re the reason she loves her job!
If you would like to contribute items to Deb’s giving closets, please contact her directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.