The Redwood Area Youth Foundation has kicked off a year-end campaign to make a positive difference in the lives of youth and families in its communities.
The foundation is currently accepting donations that will be used to help pay off the student lunch account balances for all of the students in the local school district who have a past due balance.
Approximately 200 students have a past due lunch account balance ranging from 70 cents to $150 with a total cost of approximately $5,000. This isn’t a problem unique to the local school district. Almost every school in Minnesota offers a breakfast and lunch program, and some accounts become past due.
The reality is that there are families who could use some financial help, especially at this time of the year. The foundation is demonstrating its care for “our kids” by making this project its focus. The plan would be to zero out the lunch account past due balances, so every student is able to start the second semester not owing any money in a lunch account.
The foundation has stressed it is launching this program not knowing if it will be sustained in the future, but the foundation knows there are families in need of a helping hand right now.
For a struggling family, clearing up even one small debt lets them know their community cares.
The foundation has expressed its gratitude to Ruby’s Pantry of Redwood Falls, which kicked off the donations to help launch the campaign. The public is encouraged to support “our kids” by donating to this project.
The foundation board is confident the community response to this project will be significant.
During a recent summit hosted by the Southwest Initiative Foundation, those attending learned that one in six families in southwest Minnesota live in poverty. The keynote speaker at the event, Robert Putnam, author of “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” pointed out in the past when people said “our kids” it used to mean all of the kids in a community, not just one’s own children. For this project, the foundation is using the phrase “our kids” claiming all of the children of the community as “ours.”
Tax-deductible donations can be handled through the foundations online system at www.razoo.com/us/story/Redwood-Falls-Community-Youth-Foundation. Checks payable to the Redwood Falls Community Youth Foundation may be dropped off at the Red-wood Area Community center office.
Over the past two decades this non-profit organization has raised money from a supportive community to offer scholarships to help families enroll their kids in school and city recreation programs.  This is one to support “our kids.”

Photo: Public domain