Meet Start Smart! It’s one of our newer philanthropic programs. Our presence in Richfield began through the Start Smart program and we are now expanding to meet the needs of students in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Although it’s a relatively new program, we have made a significant impact with a limited number of volunteers. It has proven to be a wonderful experience as we are always welcomed and thanked for the help we provide.
As we did last year, we purchased various supplies for elementary and high school students from “wish lists” submitted by the social workers at Richfield’s four elementary schools as well as those in the middle and high schools. Many school supplies were donated by VEAP, including backpacks. All supplies can be taken by teachers and social workers as needed for the students.
The Fall was a busy time as 15 winter jackets were requested and fulfilled; then 500 pairs of gloves and hundreds of snow pants arrived by late November which were sorted, boxed, and labeled.
A new request came to us from Project REACH at the St. Paul schools for 150 coats for homeless students. The coats were purchased by the school system and was then reimbursed by Start Smart. We hope to partner with Project REACH in the future along with continuing our presence in Richfield and Minneapolis.