Vinson Mortgage Charity of Choice: KidSmart
We’re delighted to announce that our Charity of Choice for August is KidSmart, a St. Louis-based organization that provides free school supplies for students in need. Just in time for Back to School, we’re supporting KidSmart Push for Pencils, a community-wide school supply drive.
About KidSmart Push for Pencils
KidSmart Push for Pencils is a community-wide drive to put new school supplies into the hands of students who need them. For the month of August, KidSmart is raising money and collecting new school supplies for local kids in need.
Sadly, there are 90,000 children in St. Louis living in poverty and attending schools in impoverished neighborhoods. These kids don’t have the resources to get the school supplies they need for the beginning of the year. Without these supplies, many teachers spend their own money to provide extra resources for their classrooms.
KidSmart decided to address this problem in 2002, when they opened the Free Educational Supply Store, a place teachers can get free school supplies for their students once a month. What started with just a few teachers and a modest amount of supplies has grown to support tens of thousands of students.
Teachers in schools where 70 percent of the kids qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program are eligible to shop once a month to get supplies for their classrooms. In its almost 15 years of operation, KidSmart has distributed more than $27 million in school supplies to students in need.
Today, there are hundreds of teachers who shop at the Free Educational Supply Store to provide their students with all the materials they need. Instead of having to spend their own money, teachers provide the supplies from KidSmart directly to students. This spares kids from worry or embarrassment, allowing them to focus on what truly matters: getting a life-changing education.
Helping Kids Succeed
We believe in KidSmart’s mission, “that every child, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status, deserves to go to school equipped to learn.” Unfortunately, 50 percent of students in St. Louis can’t afford supplies.
That’s why KidSmart is calling for new school supply donations with their Push for Pencils initiative, the largest community-wide school supply drive in the state of Missouri, benefiting tens of thousands of local children in need.
When kids have the tools they need in the classroom, they can focus completely on learning. When we provide children with what they need in the classroom, they can grow up to be the leaders we want to see in the St. Louis community. Many local businesses are participating in the Push for Pencils drive. Let’s work together to give kids the chance to succeed in school.
Are you interested in donating school supplies for St. Louis students? The Push for Pencils drive is going on through the end of August. Drop off new school supplies at any local Starbucks, Schnucks, Waterway, BMO Harris Banks or LookAfter Hair Salons.
You can also host your own community drive on behalf of KidSmart! Get information or templates to host a Push for Pencils drive in your church, neighborhood, office, or community by clicking here.
To volunteer your time, donate money, or support another team working to get school supplies to local kids, visit www.kidsmartpushforpencils.org.