by Dennis Burck
Through a series of raffles and a hypnotist show, Farmington High School students are fighting for Farmington Public Schools students who are homeless and in need.
The school’s student council raised $2,760 during their Charity Week, with 100 percent of the funds going to Operation Common Good. The charity will use the funds to provide food, clothing, field trip and other expenses associated with healthy school life.
According to Farmington Public Schools homeless liaison Hatty Ligon, there are 168 homeless kids enrolled in the district. She said she is helping one family get their car repaired with funds raised for Operation Common Good.
“They are in my car right now. I’m taking them to go pick up their car,” she said. “So Operation Common Good was able to give them a little bit of money to help with the car repair.”
Student council member Hanna Anderson said, “You never know what’s happening in someone else’s shoes. They could be the person sitting next to you in class. We are taking that initiating step to do something for people.”
“We have helped kids in ways you can’t even imagine; kids who can’t get rid of lice… little kids that go to school every day and get sent home every day because they can’t get rid of it,” said Dr. Tera Shamey, founder of Operation Common Good. “So, we hire lice men to clean out their house and get them what they need so the kid gets to go to school.”
“It is so hard to be poor in Farmington,” Shamey added. “I live in downtown Farmington. I have no idea that a mile away there are people who struggle with food and the basics.”
“I think that it’s really important to help those people and give them those opportunities that the rest of us take for granted,” student council member Kate Bird said. “You really don’t know who is going through what.”
With summer approaching, said Shamey, Operation Common Good’s focus on clothing and field trips will be replaced with an emphasis on food.
“For the summer, the seasonal item is food because our kids don’t have free lunches,” she said. “Twenty percent of our kids are on free lunch and what that translates to is hunger.”
Shamey said that the bulk of the fundraising work is thanks to Farmington Public Schools students.
“The best part is the kids and they know what they’re doing it for,” said Shamey. “They know there are kids sitting in their classes that don’t have food and can’t go on the field trip. They know it, they own it and they run with it. It’s amazing.”