December 5, 2020

Abby’s Closet: A place for inspiration at local schools

(Franklin, GA) — Natalie Bacho and her family endured unspeakable on Christmas Day in 2012 when they lost their beloved daughter Abigail following a two-vehicle accident involving a distracted teen driver.

Abby Bacho passed away Christmas Day of 2012 (Photo: Abby's Angels Foundation)

Abby Bacho passed away Christmas Day of 2012 (Photo: Abby’s Angels Foundation)

Mrs. Bacho and her husband created the Abby’s Angels Foundation a few months after their daughter’s death to honor Abby’s memory.

Abby’s Angels Foundation established Abby’s Closets, which provide school supplies and a place of inspiration and acceptance for students across 30 schools including all three schools right here in Franklin.

According to the Abby’s Angels website, Abby loved to play school and pretend to be the teacher. She also loved shopping for new school supplies each year.

With that, came the excitement, curiosity, and wonderment of learning. Abby’s family believe she may have followed her dream to become a teacher.

The space is designated to stock the required supplies for each grade, and some fun funky stuff too.

“We know there are families who cannot provide even the basics to begin the year of replenish as needed in the following month. Our wish is that each Abby’s Closet be a source of assistance to these students and possibly even encourage their desire to learn and further their education,” says the website.

“We have only one requirement – the students that can benefit from Abby’s Closet never feel outcast or needy. The purpose is so that they feel they belong.”

One of Abby’s Closets is located at Heard County Middle School and HCMS counselor Justin McCullough says the room established just last fall has already been very beneficial to many students at the school.

“We utilize our Abby’s Closet on almost a daily basis,” says McCullough. “It provides such an opportunity and a private space for our more underprivileged kids who may never get a chance to go school shopping. We sometimes have kids involved in DFCS cases who may have to leave all their belongings behind and this is a great chance for them to be able to get pencils, and notebooks, and book bags — just whatever they might need.”

In addition to providing the supplies and support, an important part of the Abby’s Angels Foundation is speaking at school assemblies to raise awareness to teenage drivers about the dangers behind the wheel.

Natalie Bacho spoke to an assembly at Heard County High School just last year.

Abby's Closet at Heard County middle School

Abby’s Closet at Heard County middle School

Bacho and her family want students and young drivers to realize that life can never be taken for granted.

The Abby’s Angels Foundation depends on the help from the community to continue its mission.

“Abby’s Angels Foundation’s work is possible because of the support of the community,” Mrs. Bacho told the Newnan Times-Herald last year.

“We consider ourselves blessed to live here and to serve here. We can never express how much this support has meant to us.”

All of the proceeds and funding raised go back into the community through Abby’s Closets and their teen driving program.

“The best way to get involved is to share Abby’s life and the work of the foundation. Share how important it is to drive safely and without distraction. School clubs and organizations helping make bracelets and organizing school supplies as service projects are some of the best ways to get involved with Abby’s Angels,” Mrs. Bacho explains.

Every year, the Abby’s Angels Foundation also hosts a Rainbow Run and family fun day. The Rainbow Run is held at the Coweta County Fairgrounds annually and this year’s event takes place on April 22, 2017.

The Rainbow Run is held in April since April is organ donation awareness month. Abby was an organ donor and saved four lives through her donations on Christmas Day over three years ago.

For more information or to register for the Rainbow Run visit abbysangelsfoundation.org.

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