Whom does your organization serve?
Morey Mechlin: Care to Learn serves under-resourced public school students in grades K – 12 in the following school districts: Bolivar; Clever; Fordland; Hurley; Logan-Rogersville; Nixa; Ozark; Republic; Sparta; Springfield; Union Star; Willard and OTC. While most students are on free and/or reduced lunch, that isn’t a requirement.
What services do you provide?
MM: Care to Learn provides immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene. From “Breakfast in the Classroom” to backpacks filled with nutritional food on the weekends; to toothbrushes and toothpaste; to combs, brushes, shampoo and conditioner; to shirts, jeans, underwear, socks and shoes; to eyeglasses and hearing aids; to transportation to doctors’ appointments and prescription drugs, Care to Learn makes certain that students have the resources they need to be successful in school.
How does someone obtain services?
MM: Care to Learn relies on those who know the students’ needs best —the school district employees! Teachers, counselors, nurses, principals, cafeteria workers and school bus drivers see students every day and know who is in need of assistance. They make one call to the Care to Learn liaison in their school district and assistance is immediate and confidential. As Care to Learn founder Doug Pitt says, “We just want kids to be kids.” There is no paperwork or complicated forms to complete.
Do you accept volunteers?
MM: Because of the need for confidentiality, volunteers are not used in the schools, but their help is definitely needed in our fundraising efforts.
What kind of donations do you need/accept?
MM: Care to Learn is a fund. In other words, we are not a clothing bank or a food pantry. Our assets are liquid and can be used for a myriad of needs, as stated above. This allows us to be very flexible and serve the students quickly without the overhead of a building. Therefore, donations of cash, checks and credit card are accepted. We also encourage people to consider Care to Learn when they want to honor a loved one’s birthday or special event. Care to Learn can also be named in a will or trust.
When and where did your organization begin?
MM: Care to Learn started in Springfield, Missouri in 2007 and now has 13 chapters in the cities named above.
The mission of Care to Learn is to provide immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene so that every child may be successful in school.
Care to Learn
411 North Sherman Parkway, Springfield, Mo., 65802
Doug Pitt – Founder
Morey Mechlin – Executive Director
Crystal Quade – Director of Chapter Services
Heather Trinca – Special Events