As schools reopened in Paradise for the first time since the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, GLAM4G
Many residents have been so focused on rebuilding their lives that they have had to deprioritize items like new clothing, accessories, personal care essentials and eye care. VSP Eyes of Hope and GLAM4GOOD provided hundreds of Paradise Unified School District students and teachers with free eye exams, glasses, new wardrobes, accessories and personal care essentials. In total, more than $1 million worth of goods and services were gifted by the two organizations.
The full-day event started with heartfelt words from Paradise Unified School District Superintendent Michelle John, GLAM4GOOD CEO Mary Alice Stephenson and Guyette, who revealed that, in addition to the care offered that day, VSP is providing 2,000 VSP Eyes of Hope gift certificates to cover eye exams and glasses at a local VSP doctor’s office for Paradise students and their families who couldn’t attend.
“The start of a new school year is a hopeful milestone in the recovery process for this community, but it can also be a time filled with long to-do lists and expenses for parents and teachers. It’s important to us to bring some relief to these families by providing access to eye care and eyewear and help ensure these teachers and students are set up with great vision as they head back into the classroom.”
Stephenson then kicked off the recovery initiative inviting families to take part in a GLAM4GOOD #shoppinspree4free inside the school gymnasium, which was transformed into a boutique filled with new clothing, stylish accessories, work wear, children’s clothing, beauty products and personal care essentials for the teachers and their entire families.
“While the initiative aimed to restore and brighten wardrobes of those affected, the impact goes beyond the apparel. This is a day for kids to not think about their hardships and just have fun being kids and for teachers who have put their students and community first—the opportunity to treat themselves.”
The city of Paradise lost over 90% of its population and, as a result, the Paradise Unified School District is now half the size it once was. Even so, 600 more students showed up to school this first week than expected, sending a hopeful message to educators. This GLAM4GOOD back-to-school initiative reunited hundreds of teachers and students. A lot of laughs and some tears were shared throughout the day, as community members reconnected.