This post was written by springfieldauthor on December 8th, 2016
Penguins Parade Perch raises $3,000 for Care to Learn
Within the past month, Ozark Care to Learn has met many non-food emergency needs of students, including calling a taxi to transport a child to urgent care to have a bed bug removed from his ear, providing gas cards to travel to doctors appointments and purchasing much-needed medication.
And while Care to Learn helps with these non-food needs, it’s also seeing an increase in its primary focus of weekend food backpacks.
“This time last year we had about 190 students taking weekend food backpacks. Before Thanksgiving, 230 students picked up food bags,” Ozark Care to Learn Director Michelle Lindsey said. “This week alone, we’ve added an additional eight students.”
It’s for all these reasons and more that fundraisers like the Penguins Parade Perch are so vital.
“Words cannot express how grateful we are for the continued support of our donors,” Lindsey said. “For those of us on the front lines, knowing that we have the funds to immediately resolve an issue allows us to direct all of our focus on helping the student and provides much-needed encouragement on those emotionally-difficult days.”
The Penguins Parade Perch, which is where people watch the Ozark Christmas Parade from a loft overlooking the historic downtown Ozark square, raised $3,000 this year.
“We had a great turnout,” event organizer Shane Nelson said. “I think we had our largest crowed we’ve ever had. It’s an easy fundraiser because we have fun, get together and watch the parade.”
Todd Edwards, who serves on the Care to Learn advisory board, agreed.
“I got the chance to see a lot of friends I don’t normally see throughout the year and had a great time raising money for the kids,” he said.
But the adults weren’t the only ones having a good time raising money. Ozark sixth-grader Sophia Nelson and first-grader Mimi Orr were fundraising, as well. The girls sold Oreo balls for $1 each, raising $100 for Care to Learn.
“My mom and I made them,” Sophia said. “We sold all of them. I had fun with Mimi.”
When asked what she liked about selling the sweet treats, Mimi said “all of it.”
Lindsey said she enjoys seeing children get involved.
“Seeing young philanthropists like Sophia Nelson and Mimi Orr serve as advocates for their less fortunate peers helps to empower and excite others to become involved,” Lindsey said. “It is also a true testament to the parents who are encouraging the importance and impact of supporting Care to Learn to our community’s future leaders.”