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Does your PTO fund hardships?

16 years 5 months ago #136842 by Critter
In our district, there is an independent charity that was set up years ago to handle this sort of thing. Only students in our district qualify for its support and they have their own board of directors and input from the school social workers to figure out who needs their help. Our PTO donates to that charity every year, so we do not get involved in direct funding of hardships. When there's been a particularly awful situation, like a fire, the PTO still remains neutral. We encourge individuals to donate if they chose, but we don't do anything official as a PTO. It's just too hard to decide whose hardship deserves the PTO's support.
16 years 5 months ago #136803 by PTOMomof three
Thank you for your in put, it is greatly appreciated! We had our meeting on Tuesday and we did deny the request. Debbie, I agree with you about someone claiming hardship but his or her priorities are completely backwards. We have 561 students in our school. If we open that can of worms, they would wipe us out. We do need to draw the line somewhere! Not to mention that the school serves breakfast and obviously lunch. If they are truly a hardship, that child is getting two square meals a day!

Thanks again, I love the support !
16 years 5 months ago #136711 by Debbieomi
Our group has decided that we will generally only fund non-consumables that benefit the majority of our students. Yes, we pay for Family Fun Events and we will still by the Walmart double pack glue sticks for 20 cents. But there are lines of involvement and too many other social agencies that should be helping these kinds of needs. I think that other parents within the classrooms can also step up for this. Can't the teacher include in a newsletter that she needs extra snacks donated? Just a thought.

My reasoning is this also: Just because someone claims hardship doesn't mean they are actually in dire straits. To some, it may mean they can't take their kids to McDonald's more than twice a week while for others it means they are digging in dumpsters for dinner. I've seen and heard so many people tell me that can't afford this or that for their children yet they are smoking a cig that costs them $5 a pack or driving a gas guzzler SUV. I don't want to take away money that is intended for all the kids because some parents are shirking their responsibilities.
16 years 5 months ago #136682 by Schroeder
Our group does two things that might help this situation. We have a budget item for "needy children" for requests for clothing, backpacks, winter coats etc these requests generally come in through our nurse or adjustment counselor. We also have a budget item for the Nurse and our nurse does keep a supply of snacks on hand for children who have either forgotten theirs or who "forget" them on a regular basis.
16 years 5 months ago #136674 by LUVMYKIDS
Our elementary group budgets an amount to go toward the kindergarten snack milk fund. It goes to help people with the inability to pay for the snack milk. Since that is an item that is not covered under the free and reduced lunch program, there are some families who struggle to pay. We felt it was important to make sure that all of the children were getting this important nutrition.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
16 years 5 months ago #136670 by onarollpto
Our elementary PTO doesn't actually take care of funding these types of things directly but we do give a $1,000 to a fund the school itself put together years ago that helps purchase things for students/families with hardship. For example, anything from food, clothing, even some small presents for some families around the holidays.

You could possibly look into starting the same type of fund or maybe putting one together with the school itself using guidelines on what types of items would or can be purchased. When our PTO's budget is done each spring for the next year, we automatically put this $$ into the line item for the fund our school uses and we give them the check within the first two weeks of the school year.

I hope some of this info helps...good luck!:)

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" - Ferris Bueller
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