“Sometimes need is the barrier. It actually prevents some students from going to school on a daily basis.” Kristine Trubic, attendance officer for the Warren County School District, explains just how difficult it can be for kids to feel good about going to school, and about themselves, when basic personal needs are not met.
That is why the Kids In Need Fund at the Community Foundation of Warren County is so important. The Fund was originally set up in 2015, when a group of local citizens learned of the plight of homeless students in the county, but the scope of the fund is much broader today. It benefits all kids in need throughout the county. In fact, more than 128 requests have already been processed this year. Footwear, clothing and hygiene items make up a large percentage of the requests.
Teachers, counselors, aides, and other members of the district staff have been trained to identify student needs and make requests from the Fund. Ms. Trubic also sees many opportunities for the Fund to help as she makes attendance visits to students’ homes. All requests are carefully considered for approval and follow a system of checks and balances in the district office to ensure responsible use of money provided by the Fund.
The Fund is also used to purchase Christmas gifts for kids throughout the county. Many of these students are older and not eligible for other programs that provide gifts for those in need. Last year, 53 kids enjoyed a happier holiday season thanks to the Fund. Ms. Trubic has helped deliver many of these gifts. “The kids’ faces light up, and the parents are so thankful.”
The Fund makes a difference in so many students’ lives every year. “This program has been a wonderful support for those students who may need anything from a notebook to a jacket. The contributors who use the Community Foundation to help us are so generous,” says Dr. Patricia Hawley, Director of Pupil Services for the Warren County School District.
The Kids In Need Fund is truly an all-county effort that spans the generations. Students and parents participate in fundraisers to benefit the Fund, reinforcing the Foundation’s idea that everyone can be a philanthropist. The Foundation also accepts donations to this fund regularly, in addition to having the support of several of the Foundation’s donor-advised funds. There will always be a need, and this Fund will always be here to assist.