By VASHTI HARRIS
JAMESBURG — Pamela Hernandez, the marathon trainee and John F. Kennedy (JFK) Elementary School Principal, was presented with a donation from Burlington Stores and DonorsChoose.org, providing the funds needed to purchase Google Chromebooks for her students.
In a collaborative effort, the department store retailer partnered with the nonprofit organization DonorsChoose.org to donate $10,000 to JFK via a DonorsChoose grant, according to Hernandez. On behalf of JFK, Hernandez accepted the check during a special assembly in front of the entire staff and student body on March 16 at JFK.
Representatives from DonorsChoose.org contacted Hernandez earlier this month after learning she is fundraising for technology upgrades at her school. They informed her that Burlington Stores was opening a new location in East Brunswick and saw that the school’s project requests met the Burlington Stores and DonorsChoose.org’s requirements.
Hernandez said DonorsChoose.org contacted her on March 1 indicating they had a corporate partner, Burlington Stores, that was opening a new location on March 10.
“Since JFK met the parameters set [by] DonorsChoose.org and Burlington Stores, they chose to donate to our school as a demonstration of their genuine support for the community. They let me know that the funding could be used for existing school projects or new projects, [simply] whatever would benefit our school most,” Hernandez said.
“Burlington is proud to donate $10,000 to JFK to provide students with Google Chrome laptops to enhance their educational experience,” a spokesperson from Burlington Stores said.
Prior to receiving the grant, Hernandez noticed that her students were in need of better technology equipment, but the school’s budget was tight, according to her GoFundMe page.
Recognizing the needs of her students, she announced that she would be running in the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon on April 30 and launched her Run All Day for JFK campaign aiming to raise $10,000 to purchase 50 Google Chromebooks for her students.
“Burlington Stores, via DonorsChoose.org, chose JFK because many of our amazing teachers already regularly access DonorsChoose.org for grants. Although neither Burlington Stores nor DonorsChoose.org knew about the marathon, this donation could not have come at a better time,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said despite the recent grant donation from Burlington Stores, she will continue training to run in the marathon next month, and all additional money that she fundraises will go directly towards purchasing more Chromebooks for her students.
“I am definitely continuing my marathon training and will use every single penny from the GoFundMe page towards Google Chromebooks. The New Jersey Marathon is coming up on April 30 and I will be ready. As part of my training, I am signed up for The Love Run half marathon in Philadelphia on March 26. I figured this would be a fun way to get in my long run that weekend. Those long runs on the weekends are grueling.
“I am extremely overjoyed and tremendously grateful that Burlington Stores, via DonorsChoose.org, chose our school for their kind and generous donation. Clearly, Burlington Stores is not just talking the talk, but they are truly giving in ways that will significantly and positively affect change in the lives of the children who live in their own community,” Hernandez said.
For more information about Hernandez’s initiative, visit RunAllDay4JFK.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.