Each year since becoming Village President, I celebrate my birthday with the SOMA community by selecting a charity to support. The first year, proceeds went to the Rescue Squad, last year I partnered with our local food bank and this year, I'm working with the SOMSD Parenting Center, Rent Party, SOMA Justice and MAPSO Cares on addressing food insecurity for our students at Columbia High School.
I honestly was unaware of this significant challenge at our high school until it was brought to my attention on social media when I was soliciting suggestions for a good cause. These four amazing groups will be spending the money on two initiatives. First, to create a fund where students in need will have their lunch debt paid off and ideally, have enough reserves so that no child gets turned away from a meal because lack of sufficient funds. Second, they're creating a program to address food insecurity for high school students during the weekends.
Hopefully you will join me in supporting this cause.
1) The Party for a Purpose is this Saturday night (Nov. 18) from 6pm-9pm at the home of Patty of John Brown-Christenson (48 Crest Drive, South Orange). Everyone is welcome to attend and meet some new neighbors. You can donate at the door (there are no minimums) and I'm asking everyone to pitch in with a bottle of wine. Food and dessert is on me ;-)
2) If you can't attend, would you please consider making a contribution? In my calculations, $25 would basically help one student for the weekend program for a month. I know I ask a lot of folks to always give if they're able to and I'd really appreciate your help. In communities as wealthy as South Orange and Maplewood, sometimes folks forget that we have a lot of students/families in need and this will go a long way (did you know that 20% of students in our district are on free or reduced lunch?)
I set a goal of $1,000 and then $2,500 and now $5,000... We're about $400 short of hitting $5,000 which is so amazing (due to the generous support of people in the community!).
You can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/chs-hunger
If you plan on joining the party, shoot me a message or post here or on Facebook where there's an event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/340627469735840/
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