What We Do
Seeing to it that a hungry child has something to eat is our major concern and one we cannot accomplish without the help of school personnel. A “pantry” at each school has been provided for food items such as meat sticks, fruits, soups, ramen noodles, crackers, pastas, or boxed meals—we stock these pantries on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. The school personnel at each school will place varied food items in the child’s backpack some time during the school day, giving the child the relief that he or she will have something to eat each evening.
At the holidays or extended school breaks when schools are not in session, we provide access to grocery gift cards from local stores. Families are allowed to use the cards to purchase food items. The progression over the years has proven to us that the majority of these families shop very wisely.
The first couple of years we concentrated our efforts on the hunger side of the coin. Someone turned the coin over and asked if we could help in other areas. One of the schools was holding its bi-annual book fair where children are given the opportunity to purchase good books at good prices, using their own money. One teacher commented that some children didn’t even bother to look at what was available because they knew their parents couldn’t afford the few extra dollars. The board got together and agreed that we could expand our efforts. With the help of the school personnel, we arrived at “coupons” that children, chosen by their teacher, would be given to use for a book purchase. It has become one of the most rewarding ventures to date – what child doesn’t deserve a book of their own!
“Our goal – level the playing field, stand back and cheer on the victors.”I Think I Can Foundation
We have since used funds to help with music lessons, cheer-leading camp, gym shoes, yearbooks, school pictures, dental care, eye exams and glasses, a mattress, and the list grows. We tell the schools that we will consider every request – if we can’t figure out how to fulfill it, we always try to find someone who can.