In 2009 a couple of us were asked to help with a food donation to a school before the Christmas holiday. Upon delivery of our supplies, we noticed what we thought was an excessive amount of grocery and clothing items stacked up in the hallway of the school. We questioned the need for such an amount and were reassured it would all be needed. The Superintendent of the school district was helping and when asked he explained that 53% of the children were on the Free and Assisted Lunch Program and that a large portion of these children had nothing to eat when school was not in session.
“Heads in the sand” was the only way we could describe how we felt when the superintendent elaborated on the needs of these children. We didn’t see children with big, brown eyes full of tears holding an empty cup. And, yet some of the children we saw in school that day faced the fact that when they left school in the afternoon that they would not have anything else to eat until school began the next morning. Not only was this unbelievable to us, but unacceptable!!!
A meeting was called of five newly informed and concerned individuals and thus began the I Think I Can Foundation. We asked a lawyer for advice, freely given, and papers began to be filed.We received a tax-exempt status, our Articles of Incorporation, and a federal identification number. We started with and have maintained five board members who serve for no salary, we have no office, we have very little overhead and meetings are called on short notice and very well attended.
Not a one of us has any background in charitable organization, but that has not stopped our determination. Our mission is to provide basic needs and opportunities to the children in the Kirksville R-III school districts who otherwise cannot provide for themselves. We started in 2009 with the idea to raise enough money to help the children in grades K through 5. Because of the overwhelming response to our solicitations, we have expanded to include all grades – Early Childhood Development Center through Grade 12. Needs vary at each school and we are faced with new challenges each year.
Get involved today with the I Think I Can Foundation, and help us make a difference for all of the kids in Kirksville.