Edward Jones Financial Advisors is receiving recognition from Enid Public Schools for donations and efforts district officials said have enriched the lives of its students.

“We are very grateful to Enid’s Edward Jones Financial Advisors for investing in our classrooms,” Superintendent Darrell Floyd said. “Their generosity has allowed us to enrich the school experience for students and strengthen their opportunities to learn and to grow."

During this month's school board meeting, and the previous in February, EPS expressed thanks to local Edward Jones employees for their generosity in providing $16,000 in donations to four elementary schools, and a visit from a nationally renowned inspirational speaker.

"There's 14 of us here in town and we pooled our money to help with the schools," Edward Jones financial consultant Bill Andrew said. "(Schools) have been a priority for us and we all collectively agreed to help how we could."

The group reached out to the district and asked where assistance was most needed, where their own money could do the most good.

They were given the names of four elementary schools, Adams, Coolidge, Garfield and McKinley, each with it's own shopping list of school supplies, and in some cases, just basic necessities.

"At Coolidge they were needing mittens and stocking caps for the winter," Andrew said. "The items ranged from classroom needs to well-being needs."

The group also wanted to give Enid's kids something to think about, a memorable experience, some words that might help them grow. They found this in John O'Leary, an author, speaker and survivor of a childhood fire that left his entire body burned. Andrew had seen O'Leary speak before, was touched by what he had to say and decided EPS students should hear it too.

Reaching into their wallets once again, Edward Jones officials brought O'Leary to Enid High School to speak before students from EPS and other area districts.

"His message, and the message that we heard, was, 'What can I do to help others?'" Andrew said. "That was the message we hoped they would hear."

While in town, O'Leary visited with Jake Postier, a Covington-Douglas senior who, at the age of 2, survived an explosion that burned nearly 50 percent of his body.

“It felt like I met someone who’s had the same fears, the same feelings, the same everything,” Postier said in an interview with the Enid News & Eagle. “It gives me inspiration that if you put your mind to it, you can do it.”

O'Leary said the meeting was an uplifting experience for him as well.

“It had been a long, hard day,” O’Leary said. “I walked into this room, and this bright-eyed, smiling young man stood up and shook my hand. I was there to encourage him, but the reality was, he encouraged me.”

Andrew said Edward Jones' work in the community is continuous, and while the group isn't yet sure who, what or how they will help next, he is certain that they will.