Last year at about this time, the Counseling Department and the PTSA asked me to send out a message asking for donations of gift cards so that students whom we serve every Friday with Pantry Packs (27 students at last count, but increasing every week) and through RHS Help funds might have a small amount to use to buy those they love a gift for the holidays. The counselors and I then spent the next two weeks in joyful tears as the incredible generosity of our community was made manifest in the donation of thousands of dollars in $25.00 increments. Please find this year’s message below, and we thank you for your help to make the lives of these students and their families just a bit easier.
We collect $25 gift cards from Fred Meyer and Target because these 2 stores have food, clothing and school supplies. We ask for $25 to keep our giving even-handed (and many families can afford that level). This year we are also asking for $25 Orca cards to help students stay after school for additional help or activities, get to medical appointments, or access off-campus programs that would allow them to explore other academic interests. Last year we raised almost $16,000 in $25 cards! Here is how some of the cards were spent:
- Helping senior girls get a new dress for graduation
- Several families only received holiday food and gifts through the cards since they could not afford extras otherwise
- One family had to make the choice of getting to school or work due to being low on gas. A gift card helped them get through until payday
- Students were able to get interview clothes for both college and job interviews
- Students were able to get calculators in order to take higher level math and science for college
- We bought a few students alarm clocks to help them get to school on time
These cards are life changing for our students. The more they know the community supports them the harder they are willing to work themselves.
Wishing you peace now and in the New Year!