Charlie Peterman

Position: Food Services Manager

School: Crosspointe Elementary School

School District: Palm Beach Schools

City, State: Boynton Beach, Florida

About the Nominee: Charlie Peterman was nominated by her colleague, Courtney Roper.

Charlotte (Charlie) Peterman and her daughter, Abbey, noticed that Crosspointe Elementary School had many homeless and foster children. Together, they created a non-profit organization called Abbey's Angels that collects new or lightly used small rolling suitcases. Then, Ms. Peterman and her daughter fill the suitcases with necessities the students may need such as soap, shampoo/cream rinse, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, washcloths and hair brushes. The suitcases also include some comfort items that all kids enjoy, including blankets, stuffed animals, books and small toys. Additionally, the mother and daughter team felt that it was important for the students to have the chance to voice their thoughts, dreams and opinions, so they also include a journal in every suitcase.

Once they know who the suitcase will be going to, Ms. Peterman and her daughter personalize the suitcase with a name tag so the student knows it is theirs. Every item that is placed in the suitcases has been generously donated. To date, Abbey's Angels has delivered over 50 suitcases to needy students and their siblings at three local elementary schools. The message they want to convey is that the students matter and the community is here to help them. No matter where each student may live or move, they will always have something that is their own. It is a pleasure to see the joy on the students' faces as they receive their suitcases. Many times, even their parents end up in tears!

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