Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Follow the money...

Have you ever wondered where the funds raised at the Fall Shopping Frenzy go? Or have you heard that all proceeds directly benefit our child welfare fund and didn't really know what that was...The following is more information about some of our Child Welfare and Service projects that the money raised from the Fall Shopping Frenzy supports.

CHILDREN FIRST:Our children first projects focus on breaking the cycle of dependency. Families are given year-round support through job assistance, school supplies, clothing, meals, and Christmas presents. The majority of JA of Tipton County*s yearly budget goes toward the adopted families we serve.

INK:This is a pen pal project with area elementary student to encourage them once a month through writing letters. Each chapter member is given a pal to correspond with throughout the year. The goal of this project is to help raise writing and communication skills while boosting self esteem. The students meet their pal at a tea are presented with a gift of stationary at the end of the school year.

STUFF THE BUS:JA members collect school supplies at local businesses and fill backpacks that are delivered to students throughout Tipton County.

TEACHER MINI GRANTS:Funding is provided to outstanding teacher applicants who desire to provide unique opportunities in the classroom.

WEEKEND SNACK PACKS:After seeing the success of a similar project in a neighboring city and having discussions with local teachers commenting that students were taking extra food home in their backpacks the members implemented "Snack Packs." Each day many school age children know that they will receive two meals at school but they are not sure if food will be able once they return home. Members distribute to surrounding schools before holidays and long weekends to alleviate hunger.

THANKSGIVING BASKETS:Every year, JA members help families in the area have a nice and warm Thanksgiving dinner on their table. In 2010, members helped to supply Thanksgiving baskets for 45 families in the Tipton County area. Vegetables and either turkey or ham are given to each family.

JA, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Patriot Bank partnered to help the students at Austin Peay Elementary School become part of the missing and exploited children database.  Through our manpower and donated funds, parents of these children will feel a little more security in the safety of their children.  We hope to possibly expand this database with other local elementary schools each year.

Members answer phone calls throughout the month for Northwest Safeline, a domestic abuse hotline for the West Tennessee Area

HUGS FOR HEROES:Members complete an activity with the SACC Program at each area elementary school.  Members read books, complete crafts, supply a snack, and mentor these children who attend the after school care program.  A different school is chosen each month.

Art is not only about creating a beautiful piece of work but also about helping children use their imagination and think outside of the box. By displaying the art in a gallery like setting we are hoping to encourage these young artists to keep pursuing their passion by showing them that beauty and heroes can come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In 2009 & 2010 all art was displayed at the Fall Shopping Frenzy for viewing.

SANTA ASSISTANCE:Each year, our organization helps to provide Christmas gifts for struggling families in our area. Families are referred to our organization by school employees and other members of our community. In 2010 we provided over 100 children with Christmas gifts to help make for a merry and bright Christmas Day.

CROWN CLUB: This group is comprised of sophomore and junior girls interested in completing service and education hours in their community. Its purpose is to provide high school young women an opportunity to grow through service to others. The program promotes leadership skills with our youth and will instill in then an appreciation for volunteering.

LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS:Each May JA awards three $1000 scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors who have excelled in academics as well as community service and plan to pursue a career in a child related field.