Like most parents, I got involved with the PTA soon after my first two children were enrolled in our local public elementary school, Jane S. Roberts K-8 Center in Miami. The more I volunteered with the PTA, the more PTA became a part of our family.
In the early 90’s, my wife and I were participating as scout leaders for our children. We helped my daughter’s girl scout troop lead a collection to purchase items needed for the operation and support of the local Ronald McDonald House. My son’s boy scout troop also did a drive to register people for organ donations.
Five months later, my youngest son was born. He had medical complications and needed a liver transplant. We traveled to Chicago when a liver became available and lived in a Ronald McDonald House during the process.
At that time, I also was the PTA president of the elementary school. PTA was an incredible support system during this difficult time, but also a source where we could advocate equal access and opportunity for all children.
It was then when I learned to be the voice for my son and so many other children like him. I learned to speak out for the diverse talents of each child and for the opportunity to access resources to ensure every child can achieve to his or her fullest potential.
Today, my son is a healthy 23-year-old adult who is partially blind, with cognitive disabilities. And I’ve remained active in PTA for over 20 years, traveling to Washington, DC several times a year to campaign for the best in education, health and safety of ALL children, as well as advocate for each child’s right to equal opportunities to achieve their dreams.
My experience has inspired me to be a regular donor to PTA, which by definition means “giver of gifts.” But it has been through my giving of time, talent and financial support that I have received so much. I’m always surprised to see how much more the PTA has given back to me, my family and all children. For that I am eternally grateful.
Will you join me as donor to National PTA on #GivingTuesday? Support the work of PTAs throughout the country by donating to National PTA Dec. 1.
Your gift will strengthen the programs and resources that PTAs rely on to ensure the highest quality education for every child. Please give as generously as you are able.
All across the nation Dec. 1, folks will be giving back to the causes they care about most. Will you join us in supporting National PTA this #GivingTuesday?
Enrique Escallon is a vice president at SunTrust Bank, Inc. in Miami, Fla. He is also a long-time member of the National PTA Board of Directors.
What is #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday is a daylong celebration—Dec. 1—that embraces the spirit of the season as families give back to organizations working to make a difference. National PTA is asking for your support.
Your donation helps children grow by empowering PTAs to:
- Advocate for a rich, comprehensive and engaging education for children in classrooms across the U.S.
- Collaborate with schools and districts to strengthen educational development plans
- Create activities and programs to enhance family learning outside the classroom
- Teach kids and families how to make healthy and safe decisions
- Safeguard arts education and creative expression
- Make meaningful changes for parents, teachers and children
You can help make every child’s potential a reality when you give a tax-deductible gift to National PTA.