Hugs from little children. Thank you notes placed in the mailbox. Tears streaming down the face of a mother.
Those are the things that tell organizers of the Mary Allison trust fund that they are doing the right thing.
Since 1896, local Putnam County children have benefited from new eyeglasses, shoes, and even a dental checkups, made possible through the Mary Allison Fund. And it's no different today.
This week, Mary Allison board members, including Jim Poor, Jim Jackson, Joe Ferguson, Ginger Scott, Carol Emery, Lucy Wieland and Matt Headley gathered for their annual luncheon where they handed out $1,000 donations to each of the county's elementary schools.
Jackson said the funds are unrestricted, meaning school officials can use them for any purpose, as long as it benefits the students.
Also attending the luncheon were contributors to the Mary Allison Fund, including Dixie Chopper, represented by Darren Hughes, Duke Energy, represented by Donna Hauser, and Tri County Bank, represented by Brent McColgin.
The lunch itself was sponsored by Wabash Capital and Tri County Bank.
After receiving their funds, staff and teachers from the various schools had an opportunity to share stories about some of the ways they've used the Mary Allison money in the past.
Becky Greenlee, a counselor at Ridpath and Deer Meadow schools, said she has used the money to buy new shoes for children whose families cannot afford them.
"They always come up and hug me," Greenlee said of the students and their parents.
She said a mother came up to her recently, tears streaming down her face, thanking her for a new pair of eyeglasses that were purchased for her child through the Mary Allison Fund.
Kathleen Caulkins, with Cloverdale Elementary, said she has used the Mary Allison money to buy school supplies for children. Also a child recently lost his glasses and Caulkins was able to purchase a new set.
That's precisely what board members in charge of the fund hope will happen.
"You in the schools are the eyes and ears for us," Jackson told the staff and teachers at the luncheon. "So we thank you for your participation as we look forward to another year."
Deer Meadow Principal Gwen Morris said the Mary Allison money has also gone to pay for medicine for children.
"Sometimes it's just so crucial for the kids to get those medications and sometimes the families just don't have the funds to pay for it," Morris said.
In all, nine schools received donations from the Mary Allison Fund this week, for a total of $9,000.