John E. & Aliese Price Foundation Announces $100,000 Grant to Provide Children with Essential Items
By: The Price Foundation
"This project is the first one in the foundation's new philosophy of being proactive to identify social and education needs in the community and develop partnerships with other charitable organizations in order to make a greater impact. We chose the United Way because of our long-standing relationship with them, and their integrity and outstanding reputation for successful services to the community," said Price Foundation President and CEO Kenneth P. Walker.
The United Way Gifts in Kind program will provide clothing, shoes, hygiene items and school supplies to children who may be struggling with homelessness or other challenges as identified by School District of Lee County social workers and school resource officers.
The United Way sources clothing, school supplies and hygiene items directly from manufacturers across the country. Items are also donated from the local community, according to Hannah Pelle, United Way's Vice President of Community Impact, and the originator of the program.
For example, she recently acquired $49,000 worth of clothing for just a small shipping cost. It is anticipated that the $100,000 from the Price Foundation could generate as much as $3.2 million in goods to provide for the children because of the United Way's special relationships with vendors and donors. "We're talking about brand new items from top name brands like Nike, Calvin Klein, and Guess with the price tags still attached," she said. "The manufacturers work with non-profits to donate these overstock and surplus items.
Walker said the Price Foundation will be allocating $25,000 per year for the next four years to the project with plans to continue after that, if the program is as successful as they believe it will be.
"We believe this may be the first school district in the state with a resource like this," Pelle said. "We are hoping this will become a model for other school districts to implement."
With nearly 100,000 children in the Lee school system, Pelle estimated that a large portion of those children may need the services of the Community Impact Center, especially as so many families have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
"We are extremely grateful to The John E. & Aliese Price Foundation and the United Way for creating this unique program that will help our children succeed," said Adam Molloy, Coordinator, Community Engagement of the Lee County School District.
The center expects to open when school begins this fall. For more info, visit http://UnitedWayLee.org
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