Durham, NC

Teacher Raises $106k & Spent It All To Ensure Students Don't Go Hungry During Christmas Break

Good News Daily

If you didn't already think teachers were heroes, we're here to change your mind.

Turquoise LeJeune Parker

Turquoise LeJeune Parker is an elementary school teacher at Lakewood Elementry in Durham, North Carolina. Each year around Christmastime she has a fundraiser to help students in need. This year she raised $106,000 to donate to the students whom she loves so much.

"Amazing, speechless. It leaves me speechless," Parker said. "I've cried a little bit today. I cry a little bit every day."

Parker and her small team of volunteers spent all of the money at the local Costco store to buy non-perishable food for over 5,000 students from around a dozen schools in Durham, North Carolina. She wants to make sure that she can help as many kids and their families as possible not go hungry over the holiday break.

When school is in session, many students and families depend on school lunches to make sure that they have enough to eat. Parker understands this struggle and wanted to make sure that in lieu of school lunches she can provide families with enough food to get them through Christmas break.

Out of the 12 schools in which Parker provided groceries, 98% of the students receive free or cost-reduced meals during school time. For many students, their school provides their only meals.

This year, Parker's fundraiser was so successful that there was food leftover to donate to staff members as well as students in need. Next year, Parker hopes to do even better to be able to give back to her community in need.

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