As we launch this year’s Solid & Strong CommUNITY Fund process, it causes me to reflect on why people invest their time, talents, and treasure into this small and intimate learning community.
Over the past 54 years, the Fayerweather parent community has been instrumental in shaping strong and impactful educational experiences for students. I felt this impact in a meaningful way when we were in the throes of the pandemic, as it was a parent volunteer of time and expertise responsible for the growth we are experiencing in the present. Your commitment and dedication to our community give meaning to our work at Fayerweather.
We also understand that people in our community come from different walks of life, and many families are new to independent schools. I grew up in a working-class community and family, and I attended public schools. When my daughter started at an independent school, it was hard enough for us to pay the tuition, let alone think about contributing to any fundraising. I was too embarrassed to express my feelings, so I ignored annual fund appeals and pretended that the school was not reaching out to our family. It was not until I started working for independent schools that I began understanding how important the annual fund is to the successful operation of the school. Although tuition is a big part of how we operate the school, the annual fund allows our school to support programs at the heart of Fayerweather’s mission and student experience.
I want to make it clear that at FSS, participation matters. I wish that had been emphasized to me when I was a working parent trying to make ends meet. If someone had said, “whatever contribution you make to the school is greatly appreciated,” that may have made a difference and made me feel less self-conscious. This year we are providing multiple opportunities for you to approach the annual fund in different ways. You can learn more about these opportunities from Annual Fund Parent Chairs Nick Conway and Jessica Liao, who will be emailing you, from class ambassadors who will be contacting you, or from Director of Finance & Operations Charlie McDermott and myself at our upcoming information session on November 3 at 7:00 PM, “Annual Fund Q&A” via Zoom. You can also reach out to any of us, any Board member, or Ann Eggleston, the Director of Advancement & Community Engagement, for a personal, private conversation.
We sincerely appreciate all you give to FSS, be it time, talent, treasure, and your testimonial for our parent volunteer ambassadors. Thank you for being a part of the FSS community.