Thanks to tremendous fundraising the first part of the year, PE’s Kids is positioned to be very helpful to local school children this upcoming academic year, board members said.
“We’ve had a tremendous fund raising effort this spring due to the generous gifts from individuals, local businesses and civic groups, and we are now ready to help at least 100 children,” Board of Director’s member Susan Kimbrough said.
Formed just a few years ago, PE’s Kids is a nonprofit that helps children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade by paying for soccer cleats, camp fees, music lessons, field trips, prom tickets, clothes and other items. Board members do not meet or know the identity of the children but are notified of the need by school officials – counselors and teachers – serving as spotters.
“There’s such a stigma of poverty that kids need something new,” Board member Susan Kimbrough said. “We can’t provide a wardrobe for a child, but we can provide a specific piece.”
The group has Facebook and webpages, and board members have been making the round to community groups, all helping get the word out about PE’s Kids efforts.
“I had people stop me at church … and say, ‘I’d like to talk to you about PE’s Kids,” Kimbrough noted.
The Lions Club gave $1,000 to PE’s Kids. Gee spoke at the Rotary Club and said there were lots of questions and her presentation was well received.
Cheered by that fundraising success and spreading recognition, board members may be making a presentation to your church or community group as they look for avenues to spread the word about PE’s Kids.
PE’s Kids will not pay for items such as food, medical care, or group supplies. Children raising money for something – such as a band trip – can get a donation, but only after raising a portion of the money first, the guidelines note. Parents of the child either receive a check written to the appropriate entity or gift card that is sent to the school official from PE’s Kids. That way, the parent will have the pleasure of taking the child to the store and do the shopping for the item.
The group is also preparing fundraising letters to be sent out later this year to people, organizations and churches. Those interested in making a donation to the group can send contributions to PE’s Kids, PO Box 524, Farmville, Va., 23901.
George Bagby, a long-time educator and retired Hampden-Sydney professor, based the organization on northern Virginia-based Alice’s Kids.
“We’re not trying to make parents embarrassed or ashamed, we’re just trying to help,” group Chairperson Tiffany Gee said. “I think this is a big deal for education in Prince Edward County.”