As you may recall, the CSDA charity last year, Homeless Children Matter Fund, was created by El Dorado County Child Support Services to raise funds to provide for the nearly 1,000 homeless children in our community.
Thanks to the support and generosity of child support professionals throughout the state, fundraising efforts were hugely successful. Shortly after returning from the annual conference in May, the LCSA presented a check for nearly $45,000 to Tara Turrentine the Homeless Youth Coordinator for the El Dorado County Office of Education.
In order to distribute the funds to all of the school districts equitably, Tara set up a process whereby each district will receive an allocation (percentage) of the funds based on the number of homeless students in their district. The teachers/principals must submit an application to Tara detailing how they plan to use the money for the homeless students only. Tara reviews the applications and determines if they receive the funds and if so, how much of their allocation for each project or expenditure.
The LCSA asked Tara to keep them in the loop as the applications were received and approved, so they could share that exciting information with those who supported all the fundraising activities.
The first application Tara received and approved involved the book fair. Most of you probably remember the traveling book fairs that come to the schools selling tons of fun stuff. Each class spends time looking at the books and the kids write down their favorite items…with the expectation that their parents will give them money to purchase what they chose. The experience for the homeless students has always been a little different. Yes, they tour the book fair with the rest of the students in their class but have not historically been able to purchase any of the items they desired.
The idea from one of the school districts was to use a portion of their Homeless Children Matter funds to provide money to the homeless students so they too could make purchases at the book fair.
Although money to buy books may at first sound like an insignificant idea, for the homeless students it is another very important way for them to feel like they “fit in.”
Thanks again to all the California child support professionals who supported the fundraising efforts for this charity. Know that what you have done is truly making a difference for these kids.