PIDC held our annual staff service day on Thursday, August 16th at the J.W. Catharine School — a K-5 elementary school adopted a few years ago by PIDC through yearly volunteering, sponsorship, and/or in-kind support.

A couple of years ago, PIDC assisted J.W Catharine School by sprucing up the teachers’ lounge with new painting, tables, and chairs.“The teachers had the biggest smile and they actually sit there now because it’s a space where they can just sit back and relax for a few minutes,” says Principal Lisa Wilmer.” Plus, at the start of the school year last year, PIDC assisted J.W. Catharine School by surprising teachers with 2-3 giveaway items on their wish list.

Recently, when Principal Lisa Wilmer told PIDC that the school’s library has not been used by students in a long time, the PIDC staff sprung into action once again. According to Principal Wilmer, the library furniture was old and the books were not in great shape. “Kids did not come in the library. They weren’t using the books,” said Principal Wilmer. “I want my kids to come back and be able to say, ‘Wow; we actually have a library!’ For kids who want to come in and read or do research, it’s good that we have a space for that outside of the classroom.”

PIDC contributed a half-day of service last month to assist in sprucing up the library so students may have a great library to return to for learning and thinking at the start of the school year. The PIDC staff worked diligently together to assemble furniture, label and shelve books, decorate the library, and more.

Also, PIDC proudly participated in the city-wide September 14th “Dress Down Day for Philly Public Schools” — an initiative of the Goldenberg Group and The Fund to raise funds and build awareness in support of Philadelphia Public Schools. Any employee who contributed $35 or more received a custom t-shirt to wear for the day. Plus, donors were allowed to make a direct contribution to the school of their choice.

With a staff donation total of $720.00, along with PIDC’s contributed $1 for $1 match, PIDC raised a total of $1,440.00 in support of J.W. Catharine School. The funds will support ongoing efforts in raising money to repave their schoolyard for safe play as well as upgrade their library to cater to students’ specific needs. Through overall public donations of “Dress Down Day for Philly Public Schools,” J.W. Catharine School reached their goal of raising $5,250.00.

“It means a lot that someone wants to give back and help kids. PIDC could choose any school to go to,” says Principal Wilmer. “My teachers appreciate it. My students appreciate it. I appreciate it because you could see this task is all hands on deck. We need help, so it’s nice to hear somebody say, ‘What do you need help with?’”

We need help, so it’s nice to hear somebody say, ‘What do you need help with?’ -Principal Lisa Wilmer