Or mail a check to: LPEF/RAK Forever Fund, PO Box 1811, La Crosse, WI 54602


Campaign raises $500,000 for permanent fund to support Random Acts of Kindness

La Crosse schoolchildren with basic needs for clothing, school supplies, eyeglasses, hygiene supplies or help affording fees for field trips will get help – forever – due to community support for a new endowment fund created by the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF).

LPEF announced July 14 that $500,000 has been raised through gifts and pledges, including $364,000 that is already invested and growing due to strong market gains. The original goal was $300,000 – and that goal was increased to $400,000 when the campaign was publicly announced in January of this year.

LPEF has traditionally relied on annual fundraising to meet the need. Now, LPEF has created the RAK Forever Fund – an endowment fund that will generate annual income to offset roughly two-thirds of the cost each year. That will make it easier for LPEF to avoid limiting RAK spending due to fluctuations in fundraising.

A leadership gift came from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Other major community gifts or pledges have been received from: Sabina Bosshard, Drs. Mark and Jennifer Brumm, Coulee Bank, Dahl Family Foundation, Tim and Sue Durtsche, Elmwood Foundation, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Marck Family Fund, Mayo Clinic Health System, Richard T. Record, Sue Anne Gelatt Foundation, Trane Family Foundation and Trust Point. Another donor who wishes to remain anonymous pledged a major estate gift.

View more campaign details here.

Get a complete list of donors as of July 7, 2021 here.

See below for more background information on the RAK Forever Fund.

Letting kids be kids

You can help provide stable, perpetual funding for Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) for students in the School District of La Crosse.

We have children in our schools who don’t have a bed to sleep in, clean clothes to wear, or eyeglasses for reading. No coat in the winter. No way to pay for a field trip experience.

Poverty is a thief, robbing children of the joys of being a kid. Almost half of the students in the School District of La Crosse are considered by Federal guidelines to be economically disadvantaged, qualifying them for free or reduced-price lunch. But receiving a nutritious lunch does not meet all of a child’s basic needs.

It is difficult for children to be focused and prepared to learn when tired, cold, self-conscious about their appearance, or absent from school.

An elementary student, who was sleeping on the floor after her family moved suddenly, drew a picture of her bedroom as a thank you for the bed purchased through RAK.

Fortunately, there are resources available through the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF) for each school in the School District of La Crosse. LPEF has been working for the past 20 years to meet these basic needs by providing Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) financial resources in order to pay for jackets, snow boots, alarm clocks, clean clothes, bus tokens, basketball shoes… the list goes on.

Each school has a RAK account. When school staff see a student with a need, administrators write a check to confidentially address it. Those needs are continually increasing, as is the fundraising required to meet them.

Schools see increased need for RAK

More than $54,000 was spent through RAK during a recent two-year period. Spending has increased by about 33% in the past 5 years.

Half of RAK funds went to basic needs like clothing, bedding, laundry, health exams, and hygiene supplies. A quarter of the funds went toward transportation to school, and another quarter for fees to participate in external learning experiences such as field trips.

In a typical year, RAK meets a student need more than 2,400 times.

Unfortunately, the need for Random Acts of Kindness is not going away. A long-term need requires a long-term solution.

LPEF has created a Random Acts of Kindness Forever Fund, providing perpetual support for RAK. With the support of major donors, we have raised $500,000.

Annual fundraising has its ups and downs. The Forever Fund provides a stable long-term source of RAK income.

This should allow LPEF to avoid limiting RAK spending due to fluctuations in annual giving, such as during an economic downturn, which is precisely when RAK needs will increase. The goal is for LPEF to maintain and expand resources toward enhancing learning opportunities for students, including Gold Star classroom innovation grants, support for staff development and teacher recognition programs, such as Thank a Teacher Day.

LPEF is solely devoted to supporting the La Crosse Public Schools and has the infrastructure in place to provide RAK in an efficient and confidential manner.

Or mail a check to: LPEF/RAK Forever Fund, PO Box 1811, La Crosse, WI 54602


For more information, contact:                                    
(608) 787-0226

VIDEO: Link to RAK Forever campaign video