We write this week to wish us all a Happy New Year, with hopes of health and a fresh start in many ways.
And, we reflect on a successful example of the power of community.
One day last spring, parents received news that in the coming weeks and months, P-EBT funds would be distributed by the government to all families of public school children in New York City. $420 for groceries would be deposited onto pre-existing EBT cards, Medicaid/CBIC cards, or debit cards that would start arriving at their homes.
In a late night meeting, a group of parents and staff met to figure out how we could re-distribute these funds within our community so the funds might be truly appreciated and put to good use. It took some puzzling out, some trying things out, and some real discussions with families about how and what to do, and then in early June, the Families for Families Project had liftoff.
By June 24th, $4320.00 came into the Families for Families inbox in the form of $100 Target Gift cards, a broad enough, fee-free way to get flexible dollars into families’ hands. That month, the first wave of cards went out to our then-Pre-K families by email, confidentially through the school.
Slow and steady, the program has continued. Some P-EBT cards didn’t arrive to families until September or October – so the Target cards continued to arrive, and distribution continued, one card at a time. Some are still trickling in, making their way from family to family.
In December, we tallied up the collection – and wonderfully, found that the program had redistributed over $15,000 within our BNS community.
With a final email push before the holidays, an additional $1600 came in, bringing the overall collection and redistribution to a total to nearly $17,000, reaching over 160 families. We began with last year’s Pre-K, and to date, we’ve distributed these cards to the current kindergarteners through fourth graders on the DOE’s income qualification list. We hope and plan to continue on to fifth grade and all of our 20-21 newly admitted families as well in the coming weeks and months. If receiving a $100 Target card for each of your children would help your family and you haven’t heard from Diane yet, please email her: email@example.com and you will get your card ASAP.
With talks of another wave of these cards coming out, we’re proud and hopeful that Families for Families can continue making a small difference here at BNS.
To contribute funds:
If you are able to give some or all of your P-EBT funds, please purchase e-gift cards at Target.com in amounts of $100 or smaller, as we want to ensure each family in need gets $100 per child. When purchasing the e-gift card, please use the following info:
From: My family
To: Your family
Note: From my family to your family
If you’d like to participate and didn’t get your P-EBT card yet, this website has been updated with more information and steps to get a replacement card.
To request funds:
Email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name.
The power of community is strong, and together, we can figure out small ways to take care of each other, even when everything around us feels so big and hard to sift through. The care embedded in this project is a small example of what’s possible.
All for now,
Anna and Diane and Malika
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