DUNWOODY, Ga. – Anita Augello, a family volunteer at Kingsley Elementary School, gave a presentation Jan. 24 at the Rotary Club of Dunwoody focusing on the impact of the organization’s recent grant donation.  

The club donated $2,500 to help feed Kingsley families struggling financially during the holidays. With the help of parent volunteers and faculty members, more than 50 low-income families were provided with Thanksgiving food baskets. Students were also each given one book in addition to coats and blankets.

“[We] realized that Kingsley had a problem with families that were receiving food and during this period of time [the Holidays], were unable to get it,” Augello said. “We realized that we needed to step in and do something. We live in the United States. This is a country where people are supposed to help each other…if every person did one thing; you know what a great world this would be?”

Four years ago, Claudia Augello-Smith, Anita’s daughter and the mother of two children attending Kingsley, noticed many of the students’ families undergoing personal struggles and harsh living conditions. Through their involvement with the Rotary Club, she has received generous donations during the holidays for the past three years. This past year marks the club’s largest grant donation. With the help of her mother, she was able to assemble the food baskets handed out to any Kingsley family that could use a holiday feast.  

“We never realized just how big it was going to be…that’s what I like about our school. Everyone is helping everybody,” said Augello-Smith. “I strongly believe that for my girls or for the school, everything is going to thrive the more they see parents [involved]. The great thing about this school is that they want parents to come in.”

Kingsley is the smallest elementary school in Dunwoody. Many of the students live in lower-income families struggling to feed, house, and clothe their children. Augello-Smith recently heard accounts of certain Kingsley families with multiple children sharing a one-bedroom apartment. With help from the school and its surrounding community, many families were able enjoy a nice meal together.

“We support our amazing school leadership in helping every child to succeed and that starts with the school being a place where every student feels valued and cared for. The programs Claudia, Anita, and the Rotary Club have made possible, help us to do this,” said Tova Norman, Kingsley’s PTO co-president. “Our PTO does not have the budget many other schools in the area are able to raise, so having support of the Dunwoody community makes a huge impact for our students.”

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