Two companies help revitalize century-old Dallas ISD school with a makeover (video)


On Dec. 10, nearly 100 volunteers from Appreciation Financial and National Life Group acted as “Santa’s elves” to revitalize Ben Milam Elementary School.

Appreciation Financial worked closely with Dallas ISD, who suggested the in-need school. The school is housed in a building that’s more than 100 years old and contains a high concentration of economically disadvantaged students, which is why it was chosen as the beautification site. The school’s principal was also presented with a surprise $2,000 scholarship donation and an additional $500 donation to help a staff member in need.

Two large, colorful indoor murals were added to the school’s front entryway and cafeteria. Volunteers utilized a paint-by-letters system to fill in an outline created by local mural artist Leila Elgersma of Leila’s Art Corner ( Decades-old blinds were replaced with fresh, new window coverings, outdoor play areas were repainted, and the front yard was brought to life with vibrant flowers. The school teaches children the importance of community service, which is in alignment with the local office of national financial planning powerhouse, Appreciation Financial, who funded and spearheaded the project.

“At Appreciation Financial, we live our mantra of giving back in the communities where we do business,” said Ashley Patterson, Regional Vice President of Appreciation Financial. “When we learned there was a need at a school that was more than a century old and teaching young students a passion for community involvement, it was only natural for us to step in and help. We hope we serve as positive role models to these kids and prove that great things can be accomplished when people volunteer their time to help out those in need.”

Serving nearly 280 students in grades PK-5, Ben Milam Elementary School helps to prepare students with the knowledge, skills, discipline, and confidence needed for success in middle school. The school places a great value on children and the involvement of their parents. Due to its low enrollment numbers, the school is often overlooked for essential funds and relies on money raised by the PTA as well as contributions from community volunteers and partners, such as Appreciation Financial.

“We are overjoyed to receive such a wonderful early Christmas present and know that these colorful murals and new flowers will help to beautify our school,” says Anna Galvan, Principal at Ben Milam Elementary School “I can’t wait until our students, teachers and faculty see the finished product- it’s sure to have a long-lasting impact on our school and the community.”

All equipment, paint and materials were supplied by Appreciation Financial. Every quarter, Appreciation Financial selects cities where they do business to perform service projects to help instill their corporate motto of giving back.

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