As Deborah Morbeto of Leesburg watched the culture war consume Loudoun parents for nearly two years, and felt she needed to inject some positivity into the community.
She partnered with School Board member Denise Corbo (At-Large) and Red Wine and Blue, a national organization that builds community among suburban women, to collect supplies for teachers, who Morbeto said are the unsung heroes of the community. Morbeto chose “spread kindness” as the slogan.
The drive, held ahead of the Oct. 28 School Board meeting, filled Morbeto’s minivan with classroom supplies. Community members also donated more than $2,100 to purchase additional items for teachers.
“I felt that, you know, we’re dealing with a lot of difficult things here in Loudoun, and not trying to dismiss any of that, but I felt it was important to try to do something that was uplifting,” Morbeto said. “The teachers are the ones in the trenches teaching our kids. No one has said one word about them.”
Morbeto remembers volunteering in her son’s classrooms, where there was a perpetual glue stick shortage.
“A lot of teachers buy things with their own money, and they don’t get paid much,” she said.
When she posted about the drive on social media, she received an overwhelming response. Corbo, a former teacher herself, got behind the project immediately.
“COVID continues to challenge our education system. … Teachers are givers by nature and they don’t ask for much even if they need it,” Corbo said. “They carry the burden, fill the gaps and do whatever it takes for their students. Deborah is rallying the community to support our educators through school supplies and kindness.”
Morbeto said that she hoped the drive would inspire others to organize similar initiatives.
“If someone wants to steal the idea, please, go ahead,” she said.
She is working with teachers in the community to determine how to allocate the cash that was raised. If that means she goes to the store and fills her minivan with more supplies, she said she’s happy to do it.