School is back in session but it still feels like the holiday season at Cascade Elementary School, thanks to another generous gift made possible by the school’s partnership with the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta.
Cascade Elementary received a donation of $1,000 Jan. 6, from Willard Bolden, chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco, through the Concerned Black Clergy’s “Bring a Toy to Bring Joy” initiative. Bolden, a Navy veteran, is good friends with Atlanta CBC member Mike Barber, who solicits donations from friends, fellow veterans and businesses in order to provide gifts for Cascade students during the holiday season. Even though Cascade is 1,000 miles away from him, Bolden, a Virginia native who visits Atlanta frequently, is committed to helping the school be successful.
“It is the same type of school as the one I grew up in,” said Bolden, who became friends with Barber nearly 30 years ago while they both served in the Navy. “It takes all of us working together to raise our children and this is the commitment I have made.”
During the four years of the “Bring a Toy to Bring Joy” initiative, Bolden has donated nearly $4,000 to Cascade. Barber, who collected more than 200 gifts from churches and community organizations, said he was happy to receive another donation from his friend.
“We want these kids to know that someone cares about them and their futures,” Barber said. “We don’t want them to become statistics of the streets. We want them to have a positive vision for their lives.”
Cascade Principal Dr. Sylvia Hall said the funds, just as they have in past years, will allow the school to provide students with snacks during the spring testing period and will fund the Student of the Month Luncheons.