Class Act: Wetumpka Elementary School Counselor runs school closet, pantry

Class Act: Wetumpka Elementary School Counselor Natasha McMillan runs a school closet and pantry
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 11:48 AM CST
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - As a school counselor at Wetumpka Elementary School, Natasha McMillan provides emotional, social, and behavioral support.

While talking to her students each day, she quickly realized that some of them needed a little extra help.

“I have a cart set up in my room for students to come and grab what they need. Snacks, hygiene products, toothbrushes, soap, no questions asked. I never want to see a kid cold. I never want to see a kid hungry. If they’re hungry, I’m sending food home. I had a kid cry once because I gave him a toothbrush, and he never had a toothbrush before. We don’t realize that’s in our community, but it is,” McMillan said.

So, to help, she started a school pantry. First, it included snacks; then, she expanded to include hygiene products; after that, she opened a lounge with coffee and snacks for teachers; and she even has a coat closet.

“When I started this, I had a story of a kid; I said, where’s your coat today? And she said, ‘oh, Ms. McMillan, today’s my sister’s day to wear a coat.’’ So, they were sharing the coat and alternating days, and I said, that’s not going to happen. So, I try to keep a coat for every size boy and girl, at all times, so if someone comes to me and they’re cold, they get a coat, no questions asked.”

For this counselor, each story turns into a new initiative. Everything is free for anyone in need, and she does it all using donations and support from the community.

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