When I was a little girl, I loved school.  I own it: I was a geek.  I loved learning, I loved being the first one to raise my hand, I loved writing papers…I even loved taking tests.  One of my favorite things was going school supply shopping with my mom in August.  I would–bear with me–thrill to pick out my folders and pencil case and smell the new crayons and write my name on everything when we got home and catalogue all my treasures in my new book bag.

Then I grew up and realized that many children in my hometown of Rock Island weren’t able to take pleasure in those simple childhood joys as their parents had to choose between new markers and Disney Princess notebooks and necessities like rent, food and keeping the lights on.  Enter the Rock Island/Milan First Day Fund. 

For the last seven years, I’ve joined with a group of like-minded individuals who love kids to raise funds and provide school supplies to needy children in the Rock Island/Milan School District. 

In 2017, we served 4,695 at-risk children ages Kindergarten through High School and allowed them to enter their classrooms on the first day of school fully-equipped with supplies and ready to learn.  The economic impact was just shy of $ 100,000.00.  We write grants, host fundraisers and package school supplies for the district schools every July.  Serving on this board and volunteering is truly a privilege and a joy.