SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) From homework to extracurricular activities, school kids have a full plate. But sometimes, students face obstacles that threaten their success.
At South Bend's Riley High School, there's a new organization that provides some support for struggling kids, and they just got some money to help fund their efforts.
Martin’s Super Markets presented a check for $1,000 to Riley High School as part of their One School at a Time program. The money will help fund items used for care packages for kids who find themselves homeless.
“Sometimes, you never know, someone could be having a bad night, and they need a place to stay, and so they ask and I’m open...my doors. You can come over,” said Riley High School senior Kevin Sholley.
“Riley is a family and we are here for each other,” said English teacher Rachael Ganser. Ganser came up with a plan to help students in need by starting an organization called “Wildcat Cares.”
“When they are in a crisis situation, we definitely want them to know that the school supports them,” explained Ganser. “Everyone here cares about them. They may be having a hard time right now, but it's not going to last forever. And we're just here to support and help them get through to better days.”
Students who find themselves homeless through eviction, fire, domestic or foster home changes will get a care package from Wildcat Cares.
In a drawstring duffle bag there are items like shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a T-shirt and a blanket.
“It’s important because some kids they need that support and those extra things that will help them get through everyday life,” said student Sierra Blair, a senior.
“The social worker is going to hand them out confidentially, so we're never going to really know who we're helping, but we know we are going to help quite a few people,” said Ganser.
Perhaps the most important part of the care package is a card that contains a message of encouragement.
“It's nice to know that someone is thinking of you,” said Sholley. “Even when it seems like no one is. There's always someone out there.”
If you want to nominate your school for a One School at a Time grant, just fill out an application online. The winning school gets $1,000 from Martin's Super Markets, and a new winner is picked each month.
Schools only need to apply once, and you can enter by going to michianaschools.com