Donate online by clicking on the button at left.
Or mail a check to: LPEF/RAK Forever Fund, PO Box 1811, La Crosse, WI 54602

 

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 more than $300,000 – which gets us about halfway to sustainable funding for the program at current levels.

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.

Read our campaign announcement here.

Thank you to our major donors: A leadership gift of $90,000 came from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Other major community gifts or pledges have been received from: Altra Federal Credit Union, Coulee Bank, Sabina Bosshard, Dahl Family Foundation, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Elmwood Foundation, Fowler & Hammer Fund, Mayo Clinic Health System, Richard T. Record, Sue Anne Gelatt Foundation, Trane Family Foundation and Trust Point. In addition, donations have been made by all members of the LPEF Board, staff, and campaign leaders.

Donate online by clicking on the button at left.
Or mail a check to: LPEF/RAK Forever Fund, PO Box 1811, La Crosse, WI 54602

 

For more information, contact:                                    
David Stoeffler, LPEF Executive Director
david@lacrosseeducationfoundation.org
(608) 787-0226

VIDEO: Link to RAK Forever campaign video