FAIRBORN — Fifth grader Mason Gilliam raised approximately $1,000 to support teachers at Fairborn Intermediate School right before the start of the school year.
Mason collected the funds to provide teachers with the supplies they need to help keep their classrooms safe in the age of COVID-19. Mason’s fundraiser helped a grand total of 11 teachers find supplies for their classrooms: five from Fairborn Primary, five from Fairborn Intermediate, and one family friend who teaches in another district.
Mason’s brother, Myles, held a similar fundraiser earlier this year. For his own birthday in May, Myles asked for donations for a family in need, as well as money to provide pizza for local fire stations, the police department, and his doctor’s office.
The boys’ mother, Belinda Phelps Gilliam, explained her son wanted to follow in his brother’s footsteps, but this time chose to help out local teachers.
“Since Mason’s birthday is coming up in September, he asked if we could do the same thing for his birthday,” she said. “So we set up a Facebook fundraiser with a $200 goal. Donations started coming in, and we had to up our goal several times.”
Facebook donations alone account for nearly 80 percent of the total. The rest came from a drive-through early birthday party for Mason.
Teachers often resort to purchasing some supplies for their classrooms, a stipulation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With all of the unfortunate things happening in everyone’s lives right now, we wanted to help take the burden off of others,” Gilliam said. “We are hoping to raise all three of our sons to make a difference.”
Mason was recognized by Fairborn Intermediate School for his fundraising activities.
“We are so proud of upcoming 5th grader, Mason, for his selfless act of kindness,” the school posted on its Facebook page.
The Gilliam family is not the only one mobilizing to help teachers in these strange times. The Facebook group “Adopt a Fairborn Teacher” has been helping Fairborn teachers find resources, materials, and other wishlist items for teachers all across the school district. The public group is filled with photos of books, markers, stickers, pencils, and anything and everything to make the upcoming school year as exciting and purposeful as it can be.
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532
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