Franklin Academy’s Second-Graders Help Open the Giving Fence

Wake Forest – On December 1, Franklin Academy’s second-graders kicked off the season of giving by helping open the Giving Fence. 125 students generously donated warm coats (as well as food to the Giving Box), signaling the start of the seasonal community initiative. The Giving Fence stands as an open resource, providing the local community with essential winter clothing for the colder months. In appreciation, Wake Electric hosted a festive holiday party to thank the children for their generosity – complete with a presentation about electricity, snacks, reading, a coloring activity, and dancing. Wake Electric’s employees, board members and volunteers pledged their time to ensure the success of the event.

The origins of this student event trace back to when Jennifer Bittner, a teacher at Franklin Academy, connected with Wake Electric’s board president, Suzy Morgan, a year prior to arrange for her class to donate coats to the Giving Fence. “Last year, I mentioned [The Giving Fence] to our Character Club teacher, Courtney Roberts, and I thought that would be so cute to involve the kids,” shared Bittner. The Character Club is a weekly class at Franklin Academy that focuses on instilling positive values and character development among students.

Inspired by the success of their initial collaboration, Bittner and Morgan aimed to engage even more children. “This year, I contacted Suzy Morgan and said, ‘You know, we’d really like to meet with you and make it a bigger event,'” recounted Bittner. Five classes visited the Wake Electric office to donate warm coats and partake in a joyous celebration of giving. Bittner expressed, “We truly felt that community spirit. [Wake Electric’s board members, volunteers, and employees] warmly welcomed the children with open arms.”

Morgan conveyed her joy at the community’s warm reception and their enthusiastic embrace of these endeavors. “This is for the community. So, we want everybody in the community to embrace it. And the second graders at Franklin Academy have really done that,” said Morgan. The sustained support underscores the positive impact that initiatives like the Giving Fence can have in nurturing a sense of community and shared responsibility. The Giving Fence originated three years ago to honor one of Wake Electric’s cooperative principles – Concern for Community. Since then, the community has not only embraced it but has also taken ownership of it.

With the success of both the Giving Fence and the Giving Box, Wake Electric plans to unveil a new Giving Library in 2024. This new initiative will serve as a valuable resource, offering a space to acquire or donate children’s books. Bittner played a crucial role in inspiring the upcoming Giving Library. She shared her idea of a community library with Morgan, who envisioned a similar expansion of the Giving family. “I knew [Wake Electric] would be on board because they’re already contributing clothing and food,” stated Bittner. “In the future, my vision is to see my kids marching up [to Wake Electric] with books,” she added.

The Giving Fence welcomes donations of clean and warm coats in all sizes and is conveniently located at Wake Electric’s Wake Forest office. In addition, the Giving Box is open year-round and accepts donations of non-perishable and non-glass food items.