DENISON, Tex. ― Tough economic times mean tough choices for many area families. Some may even go hungry, if it means keeping their homes. But to prevent that, one Denison foundation is helping out. Rashi Vats has details.
Smith Foundation advisor Jack Lilley says the kids need help at elementary schools in Denison. The Smith Foundation is a charitable organization based out of Denison.
“It started some years ago when we felt like the need was for some teachers and particularly some elementary schools, that they were taking money out of their own pocket to see that kids had what they needed,” Lilley says.
The Smith Foundation gives $3,000 to Denison elementary schools in the beginning of the school year, for Kids in Crisis. With 4 months left in the school year, Golden Rule Elementary has already run out of that money.
The Smith Foundation just gave another $3,000 to Golden Rule Elementary on Thursday to help them get through the school year.
“With the economic conditions the way they are now, it's been very devastating to these people, particularly middle income and lower income,” Lilley says.
Golden Rule Elementary principal Karen Sawyer says it is money put to good use.
“Basically the money is going if the students need food, or if students or parents need help with electric bills, or whatever they get behind, that is the purpose of the money,” Sawyer says.
Denison schools are also part of another program sponsored by the Kid's Pantry, a non-profit organization based out of Denison that provides food for kids over the weekend.
“They get a little bag, a little book bag and you can tell it from any other bag that another student might be taking home and then those students have food for the weekend, and if there are other family members, there too are more pack for the children and the family.”
The Pantry Program started off 2 years ago with 10 kids getting the backpacks. Now the program is helping elementary schools all over Denison ISD.
“We want to make sure they have their basic needs met in order to get the education that they need if their stomach is growling everyday while they are trying to think, so it is hard to learn,” Lilley says.
Principal Sawyer says the school is very appreciative of the Smith Foundation’s efforts.
“We are very grateful.”
Now kids can leave school for the weekend with smiles on their faces.