There is never a good time for misfortune to strike, but the generosity of a helping hand is always welcomed in times of hardship. The local Orchard Supply Hardware store has been this helping hand to the Turlock High School Agriculture Department by donating $2,000 worth of equipment after the school faced its most recent theft, only one of many in the past year.
“It is neighbors helping neighbors. That is the way we look at it,” said Geoff Ashcroft, district manager of Orchard Supply Hardware.
The most recent theft at the school included commercial lawnmowers, edgers, leaf blowers, a trimmer, and gas cans amounting to $15,000 according to THS Principal Marie Peterson. The theft impacted the Principals of Turf Grass Management class the hardest, a first year course for the school. The theft of the tools could compromise the school’s ability to offer the course in the future, though Orchard’s donation has largely helped the program.
“Orchard is committed to being involved in the community, especially with the schools. When we first learned about the theft that occurred at Turlock High School, the store decided to react immediately,” said Ashcroft. “Turlock High is a school that’s very dedicated to the agriculture community and has these courses for students because they are the future farmers. Orchard is truly about supporting that.”
Orchard donated several gardening items including handheld trimmers, blowers, an edger, shovels, buckets, gas cans and oil. The store is also working with companies that they buy from to recruit more involvement. The THS Agriculture Department is also making efforts to re-equip the department with necessary tools while forming plans to improve security against future break-ins.
“We have been so fortunate since the first theft that we really don’t need more donations. We are working with the school district and the Turlock Police Department on additional security at this point,” said Peterson.
Others around the community have also taken it upon themselves to make donations to the THS Agriculture Department, including the City of Turlock Parks and Recreation Department who donated more than $500 worth of equipment in response to the recent thefts.
During the City Council meeting on Tuesday, TUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Mike Trainor thanked city staff for their generous donations, noting the wonderful partnership the school district has culminated with the City of Turlock.
The Orchard Supply Hardware management team will be recognized for their generosity at the next Turlock Unified School District school board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21.