O’FALLON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Melissa Tichy, a crisis counselor at Fort Zumwalt West High School, has made it her mission to make life easier for those around her.

“For me honestly, it's just about being able to help people, knowing there is one less thing for them to worry about, one less thing to stress about,” she said.

Mrs. Tichy is the go-to gal when a student needs a little extra help with things outside of the classroom.  In her 8 years with the district, she's started a food pantry, a clothing closet and a backpack program., but that's just scratching the surface.

“During the pandemic, I moved the food pantry to our garage to make we had access to the food pantry to get out to families,” explained Tichy.

She makes sure kids are covered during the summer and has expanded programs to other district schools.  For her, it's all about building healthy relationships with Fort Zumwalt families outside of school buildings.

“It really is hard sometimes to have an impact outside of school.  This is one way we can do that and identify some families need extra help and care from us," said Dr. Edward Dreyer, the principal at Fort Zumwalt West High School.

Dr. Dreyer told News 4 Mrs. Tichy works tirelessly to make sure families get what they need, but she doesn't want the attention.  Instead, she directs all the credit to the community.

“They are the ones stocking these shelves and getting school supplies. They are the ones I reach out to when I need something, and they never tell me no," said Mrs. Tichy.

If you are interested in donating items, you can email or call Melissa Tichy at mtichy@fz.k12.mo.us or 636-542-7521.  Or you can visit the FZIAM page here. Then, click the donate button and select the student needs support fund. 

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