A group of teachers leads a community to band together to provide for the urgent needs of its least fortunate students.

Twenty-one students were homeless. One student had asked a cafeteria worker on a Friday afternoon for leftover food to take home for the weekend. Those were among the facts that high school English teacher Ann Haugland heard at a professional development event in her Boone, Iowa, Community School District.

“I couldn’t sleep that night,” Haugland said. The next morning, she presented her superintendent with a plan: Let’s have a one-day fundraiser for needy students in the district. The superintendent gave permission, but said the fundraising had to be separate from the school’s own foundation.

Haugland quickly found three other teachers, Rhonda Getschman, Jane Dupuis, and Georgiann Hagen, who were willing to help organize a fundraiser the following month. They asked departments in the schools to donate gift baskets to be auctioned. They also ran a coffee shop and bake sale, serving coffee and hot cider in mugs that people could keep.

“We thought we’d make $1,000,” Haugland said. Instead, they raised nearly $15,000.

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