A fundraiser got an early start and raised more than $825 for 4 of our most at-risk Stratford STEM Magnet High School graduates heading off to college this fall.
The fundraiser happened earlier this month, after a large storage closet in the Center was cleared out to make room for additional offices. Toys, clothing, artwork, shelving, containers, and more were set out in the Faith Building parking lot July 3, to be sold on July 4. Then a generous donation of furniture from Project ReDesign arrived, and "created such a sense of excitement in the community that we started the sale a day early," said Kawema, Director of the Family Resource Center & Community Outreach.
"People literally started coming off the streets, through the gates," she said.
Residents and staff worked together from setup, sales, security (including overnight), and cleanup. "Over and over," Kawema said, "I just kept hearing residents say things like, 'We gotta get money together to get these children to college!' Their investment was priceless."
The money raised will help 4 graduates who participated in the Top Floor program at Stratford. The cost of college would otherwise have been a huge obstacle for them. "The kids we targeted need personal hygiene products, sheets and towels, and maybe a comforter set." Kawema said. "They need everything."