fbpx
Making a Huge Impact through the SOS Fund with Madison City Schools

Last week Madison City Schools proudly announced the launch of their new Supporting our Students Fund, and it’s one of those things that I really you to know about because it’s a really good thing. 

If you have a desire to give back this holiday season or simply want to help others in some way as we continue to navigate the pandemic, the Supporting our Students (SOS) Fund is a great way to do that. The city of Madison needs you!

SOS Fund with Madison City Schools was created to be a resource, or a "hand up", for students in our system who have a need of some kind, such as funds to purchase a cap and gown, new work pants for their first real job, hygiene supplies, a culinary class fee, etc.

A few days ago I sat down with Development Office Coordinator Lee Shaw who shared with me in-depth about what the SOS Fund is and why it’s so very needed. 

What is the SOS Fund with Madison City Schools?

In a nutshell, the SOS Fund was created to be a resource, or a “hand up”, for students in our system who have a need of some kind, such as funds to purchase a cap and gown, new work pants for their first real job, hygiene supplies, a culinary class fee, etc.

Lee explained that often teachers and counselors receive word in one way or another about a student’s need and quietly meet the need with their own finances or resources simply out of the goodness of their heart because they wouldn’t want to see the student go without. 

“Our system has always been very reactive to needs like this, but now we want to be proactive and ready to meet some of these needs as well as we can,” shared Shaw. “I think we’ve always known that there have been needs like this, but now we’re excited to finally have a place to organize them.”

SOS Fund was created to be a resource, or a "hand up", for students in our system who have a need of some kind, such as funds to purchase a cap and gown, new work pants for their first real job, hygiene supplies, a culinary class fee, etc.

Families and businesses in our community now have the opportunity to give a tax-deductible donation to the SOS Fund and be assured that 100% of the donation is being used toward meeting the needs of students who might otherwise go without.

How does the SOS Fund make an impact?

According to the Supporting Our Students website, here is a quick list of how your donation can make a powerful impact on future world-changers that are growing up and being educated right here in Madison. 

  • $10 – Basic needs (haircuts, laundry services, hygiene supplies)
  • $25 – Credit Recovery (summer school) for a high school student
  • $25 – Field Trip fee
  • $30 – Basic needs (clothing, shoes, coats, job uniform)
  • $40 – Yearbook
  • $50 – Cap & Gown
  • $75 – Assistance with Fine Arts fee 
  • $100 – Assistance with Sports fee

Shaw shared that the COVID-19 crisis has profoundly brought to light the need for funds like this in our system, and she painted one specific picture for me that was so vivid. 

“When the pandemic hit, we had over 50 students who had no way to pay for their graduation cap and gown. So many of these students had just lost their jobs, which usually paid for school fees and things like this.”

These students were now unable to casually mention to teachers face-to-face that they didn’t have the money for their cap and gown nor were they able to bring in income, and Shaw says that she knew they had to do something fast. 

SOS Fund was created to be a resource, or a "hand up", for students in our system who have a need of some kind, such as funds to purchase a cap and gown, new work pants for their first real job, hygiene supplies, a culinary class fee, etc.

Three different organizations ended up stepping up in a big way to make sure graduation fees like these were covered last minute, but Shaw says in the future these types of needs can be met with funds from Supporting Our Students. 

Shaw explained that state and local tax dollars help pay for employees, curriculum, buildings, and more but that there generally isn’t any “extra” money for expenses such as class fees and extracurricular fees that also lend themselves to the whole development of a student. 

{Author note: I have two siblings, and I remember how expensive “back to school” fees were for my family. I’m so grateful that my parents worked extremely hard to cover almost everything, but I was keenly aware that money was constantly flying around like crazy to cover costs for sports, elective classes, yearbooks, general class supplies, etc. I have a feeling almost every parent reading this is shaking their heads in agreement that it’s expensive to raise kids. šŸ˜‰ And there are many students who will go without or not go for an opportunity at all because they won’t be able to pay for it. The SOS Fund is potentially life-changing for students.}

“This is not designed to be a repetitive thing. We will have a short application that teachers, counselors, etc. will fill out when they learn of a need, and then our Development Office and committee will exhaust every single option until we find the best route for helping that student.”

Madison City Schools currently has a 22% poverty rate, which is high enough to denote a great need but not high enough to receive funding for a summer feeding program (the state will assist with these programs if there is a 40% poverty rate or higher.)

The SOS Fund is actively working to put one in place because the pandemic has displayed that the need is there. 

Let’s raise money together!

Knowing that one in every five students in our system is considered in poverty was enough to make my first donation of $100 to the SOS Fund, and I’d like to invite you to join me in making a one-time donation or making an ongoing pledge as well.

Lee Shaw and the Development Office have set a goal of $10,000 to reach this month, and All Things Madison wants to help! I know we have a generous, thoughtful community that can absolutely make this happen.

If your family or your business would like to make a donation to the Supporting Out Students Funds, I would like to honor YOU.

Simply click on the online giving platform and follow the steps to make your donation. (I did it this morning and it was a piece of cake.)

When you are finished, you will receive a confirmation email. Please forward it to me at ERICA@ALLTHINGSMADISON.COM and tell me:

  • who you are making the donation in honor or memory of
  • OR what the name of your business is.

On Monday, December 21st, 2020 I will be writing an article and social media posts with a list of families and businesses that have donated. If your business donates, I will include your logo and a brief description of who you are. If you are an individual or a family, I will include who your donation is in honor or memory of and a picture (optional) with a blurb about what person. 

  • Is there a teacher in your life who paid for something for you when you were growing up?
  • Is there a teacher, coach, or school employee who made an impact on your life?
  • Is there a friend who was always willing to help you when you were in school?
  • Do you want to honor your parents who always made sure your expenses and fees were covered?

Donate in memory or in honor of those people and pay it forward to the next generation of amazing students right here in our community. 

Donations can be made via the online giving platform or via checks made payable to Madison City Schools, 211 Celtic Drive, Madison, Al 35758.

No amount is too small! $5 is huge, and I want to honor that here! Let’s watch as the $10,000 goal begins to disappear. I can’t wait to see how we all come together to make this happen.

 

More from Madison

How the New Goodwill Donation Center Differs From a Thrift Store

Cornerstone Word of Life Donates Hundreds of Nikes To Students in Need

Rising JCHS Sophomores Launch Op-Ed Website The Teen View