For what we do there is no Golden Globe award or an Oscar. There is no one to rank us from 1 to 10.
We submit no dissertations to a doctoral committee for approval. We do get an occasional round of applause from a community meeting. We have been nominated for the A.T. Still University Spirit Award which awards individuals who display exemplary leadership and spirit of volunteerism in helping Kirksville grow and prosper. We were asked to submit an explanation of our organization to the Missouri Community Betterment Awards and were recognized as helping Kirksville receive 2nd place in their population category throughout the state. We were nominated by students at Truman State University for the Distinguished Community Partner Award given annually by the Office of Citizenship and Student Affairs.
When a young boy walking down the hall sees the teacher he knows and he says, “Mrs. V…, Mrs. V…., will I be getting any food today?” She replies that it is already in his room. The grin that crosses his face and the thumbs up he gives to her mean success to us.
What they’re saying. . .
“As the school year is coming to an end—days are full and busy and the kids are full of summer energy. I would like to let you know that all you do for us is so helpful and much appreciated. Thanks again and we look forward to next year.” – From Ray Miller Elementary office
“Thank you for all that you do for our students here at Kirksville Primary School. This foundation is a blessing and has changed the lives of so many of our students. We can’t thank you enough.”
“I want to thank the I Think I Can Foundation” for all of your generous support for our students. Through your generosity we are able to help support students in need in our school. This support is so essential to their success both socially and academically. We are very grateful for all you do. One of the things I wanted to provide for you was the WOW factor we get to see from your generosity. The following comments are from the classroom teachers of several of the students I provide the daily food sacks for.” -Primary School worker
“He uses his food almost immediately from being released from the classroom. He has shown improvement in classroom behavior is more attentive when doing tasks and is even completing more of his homework.” -Second grade teacher
“She is a good reader and is now strong academically. Her behaviors have improved, her outbursts are less and she is able to focus on the task. This student is more independent since the start of the food sack.” -Second grade teacher
“I love my new coat, hat and gloves.” They fit!! I will take special care of them.” She has done exactly that.” -Kindergarten teacher
“My student asks me daily when he will receive his food sack. He gets so excited every single time I put it in his cubby. I am convinced that your generosity to our school (which has played a major role in his life) is one of the main reasons he is currently thriving. Thank you so much for your continued support and generosity. It is very much appreciated.” -First grade teacher
“Food is integral to my friend’s day. When a child continually cries out I’m hungry during the day it is imperative to fulfill that need before learning can occur. With food, the child is happier and will complete academic tasks. Please continue to help us bridge the gap between needs and learning and productivity.” -Classroom teachers
Our success stories are very simple and have very little monetary or notoriety award. Quite often, with an individual donation will be a note with a “great job,” “thanks for all your doing for our children,” or a “please keep up the good work.” We find rewarding the thanks we receive from the faculty and administrators at the schools.
To the wonderful people of the I Think I Can Foundation “As a teacher, I have watched several of my students benefit from the generosity of the ITIC Foundation. I always appreciated how the students’ needs are quickly and quietly taken care of. I never imagined I would find myself as the recipient of their gifts.
When one of my students was removed from their home and in need of care, I offered to be a foster placement. Overnight I became a parent to two young children. As you know, kids need a lot of stuff! Food, clothes, shoes, toys, glasses, school supplies, medicine…the list seems endless. The state helps out by providing a monthly reimbursement to caregivers of children in foster case. However, it can take several weeks before receiving the first payment and it doesn’t cover all of a child’s expenses. Imagine my surprise when I found a gift certificate from the ITIC Foundation in my mailbox – and just in time for the holidays.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude and greatly surprised. It was as if someone had recognized my struggles and was saying, “I see you. I see how hard you are working to provide for your family. It’s okay to need a little extra.” I imagine that is the same feeling many parents have when receiving gifts from the ITIC Foundation. I think most parents are doing their best to give their children what they can. It’s wonderful to have someone help support you when you need it.
I know the goal of the ITIC Foundation is to help motivate at-risk children to “think they can.” It started with a small group of people who said, “I think I can make a difference.” Well, my dear friends, I believe you have. Thank you for helping to make Kirksville such a thoughtful and kind-hearted community. ~Sincerely, Kirksville Primary School Teacher
The Kirksville Primary Staff once wrote: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous donations of food and resources to the students we serve at Kirksville Primary School. We know that the backpacks and the daily food we send home impact their lives in such a positive way. We have experienced very positive results from your generosity. We can’t thank you enough for what you are allowing us to do through your support. Our Kirksville Primary School students are truly benefiting.”
One donor wrote: “Thanks so much for all of your ground-breaking work. This is an exceptional project with enormous potential to reach the neediest in our community.”
A first grade teacher expressed: “I just want to take a moment to thank all of you for helping our students. I know many students throughout the district have been helped by your generosity. I personally have had students receive gift cards for meals during the holiday season, glasses, shoes, clothes, and food bags to go home daily. The foundation has made such an impact on the children in our community. So many of our students have challenges to overcome in their daily lives. The daily help you give them is immeasurable. Thank you so very much for your continued support. Your support helps to relieve some of the burden of worry we teachers have for our students. When we know they will have food every day after school, when they have a pair of shoes with the soles intact, a warm coat with hats and mittens, with glasses that help them learn to their fullest potential, these are things that help us worry just a little less for our students. Again, I can’t thank you enough for your support.”
One principal received this note from a parent: “I wanted to tell you, with a heart overjoyed with thanks, how much we appreciated I….’s boots. We honestly are unable to get him any right now and it really means a lot to his father and I that he gets to attend a school that REALLY cares that much for their students. He was provided with a heavy winter coat a few weeks ago that he is equally proud of. The first night he had it, he slept in it. Really.”
Another teacher shared: “My classroom wrote books and submitted them to be published. The books were available for purchase and I Think I Can covered the cost for the four parents who could not purchase their child’s book.” She continued: “Many of my students come to school on their birthday without treats to share. The smile it brings to their faces when they are able to take a treat to their classroom after visiting the birthday closet is priceless!”
“If I had a hundred dollars I would buy fruits and vegetables for all the kids.”Student
Students who attended a book fair wrote and we share with you, unedited:
From Joshua: “Thanks for paying for are books. I apretiatit.”
Another student: “Dear the I Think I Can Foundashon. Thank you for the money. I got to go to the Book Fair. It was fun. I got loot.”
A young boy, after coloring us a picture of a unicorn, wrote: “Dear peeps. Thank you for the book Bad Unicorn. I’m very happy about this. It is great of you to give me this book. I really wanted this book I got it. Thanks. You’re the best for giving me this money. You the Best.”
A parent: “Your group continues to do so many wonderful things. Because you may not hear the many thanks you deserve from individual parents, I want to personally express my gratitude. You are a generous organization.”
We provided the high school with boots and coveralls for students who attended a work project at our university’s farming extension. Outdoor conditions required clothing that some of the students could not supply. After the completion of their assignment, students wrote a thank you. One wrote: “Thank you for buyin these coveralls, for me and my class. We appreciate them, and we can put them to good use. Lol.” Another found a shorter version appropriate, though slightly misspelled: “Thanks for the overhalls.”
One donor sent a note: “Thank you board members for all you do to make this mission truly work. It makes my heart hurt for these youngsters who go hungry. They have a “champion” for them!”
From a school’s office personnel: “Just a note to let you know what a difference you make for some of our students. Without your help and donations, some would not be able to experience the social events that are held after school hours. You do so much more, but I know, the kids look so forward to being able to attend evenings, such as Pajama Jam and Decade Night, without feeling left out or different. It means so much to them….”
Our MISSION is to provide basic needs and opportunities to the students at the Kirksville R-III school district. Our GOAL is to “level the playing field” for all students regardless of their background or socio-economic status. Our HOPE is that one day these students will begin to say to society, “I Think I Can,” and eventually say, with confidence, “I Know I Can.”