USAO Staff Association donates to Christmas in August
The Staff Association at the University of Science and Arts recently made a donation of $200 to Christmas in August, an annual event designed to deliver school supplies to area children.
In the early 1970s, Johnnie Pearl Coffey, a retired educator, had a vision to provide children in Chickasha with school supplies. Her vision became known as Christmas in August, an event in which the business community, civic leaders, educators and local churches unite to provide school supplies to children who attended Chickasha Public Schools.
The event was held annually for several years, mostly funded by Sister Coffey and a few dedicated donors. In 2004, the First Baptist Church youth department and the Christmas in August committee reestablished the Johnnie Pearl Coffey Christmas in August event.
Since, the Christmas in August foundation has distributed about 5,000 packets to families with children in the Chickasha school system. Each packet consists of loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, pencils, pens, watercolor, school box, glue (stick and liquid), erasers, crayons, colored pencils, tissue, folders and other supplies.
The FBC Johnnie P. Coffey Christmas in August is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6 at the First Baptist Church, located at 102 E. Dakota Ave in Chickasha.
“We appreciate the USAO Staff Association and all businesses that have donated so generously to our ministry,” said Eileen Thomas, corresponding secretary for the Christmas in August committee.
“With assistance, we will be able to donate school supplies to all children of Chickasha Public Schools. Last year, we gave away over 650 packets of school supplies. With the continued help and support of local business we can make this year even more phenomenal!”
Thomas also works as an administrative assistant for the education and speech language pathology departments at USAO.
The USAO Staff Association holds regular fundraisers throughout the year and donates to community causes deemed worthy by association members by a majority vote at monthly meetings.
“Everybody was very enthusiastic about donating to the Christmas in August event,” said Julie Stockstill, president of the USAO Staff Association.
“This is the kind of direct action donation we love to take. We know a lot of families in the area are stretched thin in their budgets right now and Christmas in August is the kind of program that speaks to that need.”