We’re celebrating the beginning of our 10th year with I Think I Can Foundation, and we feel as if we’re just getting started. Food distribution is going well, which includes daily use of pantries at each school and holiday shopping for students and their families. The requests for clothing of all sizes has continued, OTC medications dispensed, hygiene items distributed, and help is occasionally  provided for medical needs.

And now, we’ve decided we’d like to see if we can help in the academic arena. Due to requests that we received the past couple of years, we realize that there are students who are denied access to academia beyond the usual classroom due to lack of financial means. This doesn’t fit with our mission of wanting to “level the playing field.” We all know a complete education encompasses aspects outside of the classroom. Opportunities for growth come in all forms and some of them cost money – not all students have the means for a positive exposure that might lead to a career they have always wanted. 

 We have established a separate fund that we have labeled for “Academic Endeavors.” This will include requests for in- school or after-school academics such as music or art classes, seminars, camps, or university programs. It will include the cost of fees, supplies, or even tuition. Guidelines have been established and the request will come from school personnel. We are also establishing up to a $1,000 scholarship for a high school graduate to be used toward further education at a trade or tech school, a two or four year college or even the cost for a mentoring program. Guidelines have been established as well and an application that must be completed by the student. The nominee will be named by the school.

 Those who donate to ITIC will have the opportunity to request where their donation is placed – in either the general fund for food, clothing, etc., or in the newly established “academic fund.” It is our goal to help children in all aspects of their education.


We were the recent recipients of a donation from Truman State University as part of their Homecoming celebration. The funds were raised by students during Homecoming week with the goal to “give back to the community” and they felt one aspect of the Kirksville community was the school district itself. In November, some of the students will host a “Fun Pajama Jama Nite” for students at our Ray Miller Elementary School where Kirksville students will enjoy interaction with Truman students while all enjoy pancakes and games. Truman has been a big supporter of the I Think I Can Foundation,  resulting in positive responses from the schools and the community.


2018 donation of  $5,000 from our friends at Kirksville Motor Company! We appreciate all of your help!


Another $5,000 donation from our good friends at Kirksville Motor Company! Thank you so much.


$5,000 donation from Kirksville Motor Company!!


From left to right:  Laurie Leslie, Trevor Mills, Mary Nay, Suzie Stremel, Jerry Stremel, Troy VanRie and Wayne Blackman

2019-2020 Newsletter



At the beginning of our eleventh year, and thanks to the community and friends of Kirksville, Missouri we are again gearing up to provide all we can to a group of very appreciative students, teachers, and administrators. We will still focus on overcoming our biggest obstacle – hunger. We will still provide food for every school pantry and with the help of volunteer school personnel, any child designated by a teacher as needing extra food will be given something daily to sustain them from lunch until the school breakfast the next morning. Some fifth grade students are also offered an extra entre if their lunch does not quite fulfill their need. For the holidays and school breaks we have been able to provide grocery cards to designated families. The cards are held at the stores, used at check-out, and the cards and receipts remain at the store until retrieved by the Foundation. The stores know that these cards are to be used for food items only and the shoppers are usually very compliant.



Thank you all for realizing that not all needs are related to hunger. You have made it possible for students to try out for sports when the extra costs involved have been more than parents can afford. You have made it possible for students to pursue talents that have in the past had to be ignored. You have made it possible for students to maintain the status quo in their appearances, in their health, and in their wellbeing. You have given the students the support they need to “think they can.”


At the end of the 2019 school year, 2,536 students were enrolled in Kirksville R-III schools. Of those, 1,033 were signed up for free lunches and an additional 262 were eligible for reduced fees. School Year 2019-2020 looks as if it will have similar numbers.

When we visit the schools, we seldom leave without having at least one person thank us for what we do. We wish each and every time that we could pass on to you the school’s comments. We are only the liaison between the schools and the community and you deserve to know what a difference you have made these past ten years. One young girl wrote: “Thanks for making my school year possible.”


Book Fair:

Each year a company comes in to the schools and offers to sell good books at good prices. Students are allowed a sneak peek prior to the sale, but some students weren’t even bothering to go look because they knew they wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a book once the sale started. We decided we could offer to each class a few books at a limited price. We attended one of the ?rst fairs and watched as the kids browsed through the books. It absolutely broke our demeanor when one young boy came up to us and asked, “Do I REALLY get to have a book? I’ve never had a book of my own.” Every child should have a book!! A 5th grade student wrote: “Thank you for the money. I got to go to the book fair. It was fun. I got loot.” Another wrote: “Thank you so much for the certifercit. Now I have books to read. Now I know what I can read at lunch to keep me quiet. Thank You.”


Schools have “fun nites” where the students can go to school after hours, play games, have treats, and just meet their friends to “hang out.” There is an admission fee and a cost for snacks. Teachers realized some students wanted to attend, but couldn’t afford the admission or the snack costs. We stepped in, but what we found admirable is that in all students it doesn’t matter if the admission comes from a parent or a ticket from us—students don’t discriminate—they just want to be among their friends.

One office staff member wrote: “Without your help and donations, some students would not be able to experience the social events that are held after school hours. The kids look so forward to being able to attend evenings…without feeling left out or different. It means so much to them…”

We will continue to consider each and every request given to us by the schools. Requests range from clothing to medical, household items to after school classes in art, music, and academics. I credit our local businesses in doing what they can when they are asked—and I have yet to be denied—thank you is really not enough!!

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair strong men.”

Newsletter Downloads

We produce newsletters several times each year. You can download past newsletters here.

2019-2020 NEWSLETTER

2018-2019 NEWSLETTER

2017-2018 NEWSLETTER

2016-2017 NEWSLETTER

2015-2016 NEWSLETTER