Care to Give [via Christian County Headliner]

Posted on March 3rd, 2018

Care to Give

BY: Sydni Moore Feb 28, 2018 Updated Feb 28, 2018

Care to Give 2-28-18

Members of the Ozark Optimist Club recently donated $250 to Ozark nonprofit Care to Learn.

“The key focus of an Optimist Club is to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children within the communities each club serves,” Ozark Optimist Club President Michaele Vetsch-Floyd said. “By meeting the immediate needs of children, it will provide a better opportunity to build confidence and create a better path for the future.”

Ozark Care to Learn Director Michelle Lindsey said the club’s donation will go toward buying a bed for one student who’s been sleeping on the floor and ADHD medication for another to help the student do well in school.

“Area organizations are an integral part of our ability to provide for students, and we would not be able to do what we do without them,” Lindsey said. “We know we can count on them to raise significant funds to help us meet our expenses, but they bring so much more to the table — they share our mission with others and provide a significant source of volunteers.”

Care to Learn (Seymour) seeks support [via Webster County Citizen]

Posted on March 3rd, 2018

Care To Learn seeks support

Seymour’s chapter now active; fundraising event set Saturday
Posted: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:00 pm

By Dan Wehmer Webster County Citizen [email protected]

The new Seymour Care To Learn program has a mission.

Operating within the Seymour R-II School District, the program, which was formed last September, presently focuses on meeting the hunger need for district students, specifically young students at the Seymour Elementary School.

One way of doing that is with the “backpack program” that sends healthy meals home each weekend for students in need.

Presently, the Diggins Baptist Church and the Church of Christ in Seymour are providing 50 backpacks each weekend, leaving Care To Learn responsible for the remaining 69. The cost of providing the 69 backpacks is $4,600 per school semester, which is a significant amount of the little more than $10,000 that Care To Learn has earned since its inception through fundraising and grant writing.

That’s where the community’s help is needed.

A fundraising effort arrives this Saturday.

From 5 p.m. to close on Saturday, Fuddrucker’s, a restaurant located at 2920 South Lone Pine Avenue in Springfield, just off East Battlefield Street, will have a large tip jar on display, and 100 percent of all tips placed in the jar will go to Care To Learn in Seymour.

Above that, Seymour’s Care To Learn is seeking any assistance from the community, whether it be through volunteering or via financial contributions.

“Every dollar earned by Care To Learn goes back into our local organization,” explained Sheila Sturdefant, a board member for the program.

“And if you can’t  help us in a financial way, then we’re always looking for volunteers.”

Founded in 2008 by Springfield businessman Doug Pitt, who is the brother of actor Brad Pitt, Care To Learn now has 33 chapters in Missouri, as Seymour became the 33rd member last fall. The program’s mission is to provide immediate funding to meet emergent health, hunger or hygiene issues so every student can be successful in school.

“No student will suffer physically or emotionally due to lack of food, access to medical care or hygiene issues,” Sturdefant noted.

She said the biggest reason Seymour joined Care To Learn was to continue the aforementioned backpack program at the Seymour Elementary School that nearly doubled from 60 to 119 children.

“The cost for the 119 backpacks each weekend is roughly $12,550,” she explained. “Churches have been helping, but this larger number was too much for them to handle.”

Through the combined effort of the churches and Care To Learn, the hunger need within the local school district is being met. However, Sturdefant noted that without continued support of the community, Care To Learn soon will run out of financial resources.

“Our goal is to have enough funds to be a year ahead,” she said. “And there’s a lot more we want to do within the community.”


Care to Learn improving life for students [via the Warren County Record]

Posted on January 1st, 2018

Care to Learn improving life for students

By Derrick Forsythe, Record Staff Writer Dec 30, 2017 Updated Dec 30, 2017

During its second year in the Wright City R-II School District, the Care to Learn initiative is making a tremendous impact on both families and teachers in the community, officials said.

The Missouri-based program out of Springfield was started by Doug Pitt, brother of actor Brad Pitt. One of its primary advocates, Executive Director Linda Ramey-Greiwe, is a graduate of Wright City.

Recently, Kelly Brooks and Jeff Catron, both members of the R-II Care to Learn advisory board, attended a Champions Chat event in St. Louis to promote the event.

“They asked for two people from each school that participates in Care to Learn to come out and discuss how the program has impacted our school,” said Brooks.

The duo met with business leaders and other school districts interested in either supporting or integrating Care to Learn into their own environments.

Brooks says it was a prime opportunity to be a voice for the organization and let others know how beneficial the program can be.

“It’s been great for our district,” she said. “We’ve been able to provide immediate funding for students who were in need of health, hunger and hygiene needs.”

Care to Learn, which was founded in 2008, exists to help provide children with the most basic but essential needs when it comes to learning. These needs can include being clean, fed, properly clothed or having medication.

“We’ve had students who couldn’t get their prescriptions filled, because of insurance reasons,” said Brooks. “We’ve had a couple of students who had fires and needed clothing and food.”

The school is able to provide vouchers for students to go to Walmart to buy clothes or necessities when their family is faced with hardship. At times, students may not be able to rely on their families, and this is where Care to Learn comes into the picture.

In addition, the program has been able to outfit students with prescription glasses and can help with hearing or similar medical needs that might impair a child’s ability to learn.

How does Care to Learn acquire its resources?

“We pretty much do all of the fundraising ourselves,” said Brooks. “We have teachers that participate in payroll deduction, with a certain amount going toward Care to Learn. We’ve also had businesses donate and staff members that volunteer at cooperate events for donations.”

R-II hosted a dunking booth at Strassenbash in September to raise funds. Perhaps the biggest fundraising effort came through the middle school, which collected over $2,000 through its “Taco your Teacher, Burrito your Buddy” fundraiser.

Winning teams got to cover the last-place teams in a variety of toppings, similar to the pie-in-the-face routine.

“We’re going to start a food and hygiene pantry for high school students so that students can discreetly get any food or hygiene products they need at home,” said Brooks.

The district also plans to provide Christmas meals for two families from each of the school buildings through Care to Learn.

“We hope to continue being able to provide more and more each year for our students,” added Brooks.


December Pay it Forward Winner [via Fox 5 News]

Posted on December 27th, 2017

December Pay it Forward Winner

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 10:42 PM CSTUpdated: Dec 20, 2017 10:47 PM CST

By John Adams, Fox 5 NewsFox 5 news piece 12-20-17 CTLASH

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–(12/20/17) It didn’t take long for Jeana Scroggins to identify a need in the community of Ash Grove.

“Some kids don’t have shoes, they don’t have clothes, they don’t have basic food over the weekend,” she said.

Jeana took it upon herself help …… to start a local chapter of Care To Learn in her town, an organization that addresses hunger, health and hygiene concerns for those in need.

Even though the population of Ash Grove is just over 1,400; Jeana was able to raise $23,000 in the past year.

That money has gone to help address students hunger needs while they are not at school, when meals can be hard to come by. Students are sent home for the weekend with cans of food in their backpack, making sure their nutritional needs are met.

“We have to make our community as strong as it can be, and our community is only as strong as our weakest student, and when I say a weak student, I mean a student that doesn’t have what they need, a child going to school hungry, how are they going to learn?” Scroggins explains.

And its no surprise what she plans to do with the money.

“We will eventually get winter and we will have to get coats, we have to get shoes and we have to get gloves and hats, so I’m sure that is what this will be for.”


OTC Richwood Valley works to meet students’ needs [via Christian County Headliner News]

Posted on December 27th, 2017

OTC Richwood Valley works to meet students’ needs

Chris Griesedieck, for the Headliner News

Dec 21, 2017 Updated Dec 21, 2017

The importance of maintaining good health and hygiene doesn’t disappear once students graduate high school. As parental supervision decreases, individual responsibility increases.

“The students are out on their own now. Their safety net is gone. So their needs continue in college,” Mark Miller, OTC college director of communication, said.

OTC Richwood Valley President Jeff Jochems said students’ needs are typically revealed in class, during meetings or at the front desk when they inquire about financial aid.

“They often happen through faculty and staff referrals. We try to keep a constant monitor, keeping our eyes and ears peeled to whatever specific student needs may arise,” he said.

The increased awareness of students’ needs has prompted many leaders and teachers to take action.

Faculty efforts to ensure the success of students can be traced back to 1995 at Ozark Technical Community College, with the establishment of the OTC Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to help students in need. Through donations, fundraising efforts and expansion, the foundation now offers privately-funded scholarships to students based on their academics and needs.

“The bottom line is that when students are in need, you’re going to find ways to help them,” Miller said.

Students’ tangible needs have extended beyond financial aid, however. Items such as toothbrushes, gas money, shelter and food are essential for survival. As basic health and hygiene issues became more prevalent, the Student Emergency Fund was formed in 2007 to alleviate students’ struggles.

Miller said $4,000 goes into the Student Emergency Fund each year, thanks to faculty and staff giving to it.

Amy Bacon, college director of development for OTC, acknowledged that students’ needs may differ from person to person.

“Let’s say that a student needs a pair of reading glasses but they can’t afford it. We will call Wal-Mart and pay for the glasses over the phone,” she said.

Another way that the foundation and Student Emergency Fund assist students is by providing gift cards for items like meals, gas or temporary housing. The different OTC campuses, including Richwood Valley in Christian County, have access to the funds to help students.

Bacon also oversees the OTC Care to Learn Chapter. Care to Learn, which is a part of the Student Emergency Fund, practices the same goal of meeting students’ basic needs. The mission of Care to Learn is to provide immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene so every student can be successful in school.

Many Christian County school districts have a chapter of Care to Learn and new chapters continue to be formed throughout the state.

But teachers and education leaders are giving more than money these days. One of the ways the faculty volunteer is by participating in the annual Panther Run, a 15k, 10k and 5k prize run with all proceeds benefitting Care to Learn. Miller said a portion of the funds from the run also go into the Student Emergency Fund. This year’s race was on Oct. 7 at Drury University.

Various OTC staff members showed up to hand out water, cheer on the runners and run the race itself.

“I have participated in the run for the last three years. It’s a great cause and a fun run,” Jochems said.

OTC also utilizes its Behavioral Intervention Team to intervene when necessary. Employees or students may send in a report to the team if they know someone is experiencing health or financial difficulties.

“If we find out that students are sleeping in a car or they can’t pay for gas to get to their classes, we pass through and assist,” Miller said.

“Everybody plays their part to help families with kids who are struggling,” Bacon said.

For more information on the OTC Student Emergency Fund or Care to Learn, contact the OTC Foundation at (417) 447-2651.

Care To Learn Is Ensuring That Every Child Has A Chance To Be Successful

Posted on December 20th, 2017

Care To Learn Is Ensuring That Every Child Has A Chance To Be Successful

Abesi Manyando, Contributor, News and Entertainment Writer

12/05/2017 04:38 pm ET Updated Dec 07, 2017

Doug Pitts’ Missouri Based Non-Profit Provides Immediate Support and Resources To Help Every Student Thrive at School No Matter Who They Are.

Education may be the easiest path out of poverty and a means to break generational cycles of struggle. We do know this to be true. It is very logical but how practical is it for children faced with the harsh side effects that come with living in poverty. Poverty is all around us and sometimes we don’t even realize how close. Our society encourages children to pay attention and succeed in school so they can be somebody one day. How easy is it to pay attention if you haven’t eaten the night before or in the morning? How easy is it to succeed if you don’t have a good night rest because you don’t have a quiet place to sleep or a bed? What happens when you’re distracted by the sounds of gunshots piercing through the night within range of what should be your sanctuary, your home? It’s difficult for adults to endure but what more a child? Imagine that this same kid who is not only hungry also does not have access to just the basic things that everyone needs to function as a human being. Clothes, personal products, a coat, a toothbrush, socks. Yet we still expect this student and others to strive in the same manner as the kids who have everything. We discard their behavior and attitudes as “bad” and problematic without getting to the core of their problems and without being honest about the fact that there are overwhelming real issues that keeps children from being the best they can be in classrooms across America. One organization is not missing the mark in understanding and activating the support and resources required for children to both succeed and overcome poverty and that is Missouri based non-profit, Care To Learn.

Care to Learn is one of the fastest growing 501(c)(3) non-profits in Missouri and was founded in 2008 by Missouri businessman and philanthropist Doug Pitt. The mission of Care to Learn is to provide immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene so every student can be successful in school. Care to Learn partners with school districts, various local businesses and the local community to meet the needs of students. Care to Learn has 32 Chapters throughout Missouri.

I was invited to Care to Learn’s annual fundraiser by Celebrity Publicist, Jane Higgins. The elegant evening presented me with a unique opportunity to hear stories from local St. Louis sports legends who are involved in Care To Learn and see the critical importance of helping local students. There was a panel entitled, The Champions Chat, that featured Isaac Bruce, former wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams, Jim Edmonds, former center for the St. Louis Cardinals and current broadcaster for Fox Sports Midwest, Brett Hull, former player, general manager and current vice president for the St. Louis Blues, and one of my longtime favorite athletes Jackie Joyner-Kersee, three-time Olympic gold medalist. The Champions Chat panel emceed by KSDK News’ Frank Cusumano, was held at the MOTO Museum—which features a private collection of motorcycles spanning 100 years and from more than 20 countries. It was a great space for me to talk to the athletes about Care To Learn one on one and find out how important the organization is to many students and families. Jackie Joyner-Kersee who sits on the board of Care To Learn told me that it was critically important for her to be involved in the organization because it shapes the future of students dramatically. “There are basic things that keep students from being successful and we as a community have to make sure that we are able to provide young children with what they need to flourish in a school environment. I love being a part of the Care To Learn Board because I know we are making a difference in the lives of kids,” said Joyner-Kersee.

I was surprised by how much Care To Learn really understood the core of what is actually society’s biggest problem. No matter how you look at it the essence of many of our social issues such as hunger, crime, violence, health disparities and so forth are related to poverty and the inability of children being able to fulfill their greatest potential. Business Executive, Doug Pitt wanted to change this. In the Fall of 2007, Pitt heard some sobering statistics about poverty in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri. The growing trend of poverty was an unwelcome shock to the local businessman who had lived and worked in the community for over 40 years.Pitt shared the information with those close to him. Pitt spoke about children living in poverty who had to share a toothbrush, a fifth-grade boy who was being made fun of because he had to wear his mother’s jeans and teenage girls missing school because of the lack of personal hygiene products. Doug and those he talked with felt strongly that no child should suffer physically or emotionally due to lack of food, access to medical, dental or mental health care, or hygiene issues. This gave birth to Care to Learn. Hall of Famer Brett Hull said, “We have to really function as a community and this means that everybody should pitch in to ensure that every student has the same access and chances to grow and succeed no matter who they are and where they come from. Just by investing our time energy and resources into children who need us we can change the course of their lives and our society We are responsible for shaping our future.”

You can support Care To Learn and find out more about this amazing organization by visiting the website.


Lucky’s Market grand opening will include ‘bacon cutting ceremony’ and Impact Day for Care to Learn

Posted on December 20th, 2017

Lucky’s Market grand opening will include ‘bacon cutting ceremony’

, [email protected] 9:48 a.m. CT Dec. 13, 2017 | Updated 4:26 p.m. CT Dec. 13, 2017

Lucky’s Market will open in Springfield on Jan. 10, according to company spokeswoman Kristi Torvik.

The Colorado-based grocery store will open in a 28,000-square-foot building at 3333 S. Glenstone Ave.

Lucky’s Market describes itself as a “natural foods grocer that offers affordable options for every day foods and specialty choices.”

The grand opening will involve a “bacon cutting ceremony,” Torvik said, as well as $10,000 in donations to two local nonprofits — Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and Springfield Community Gardens.

The donation to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks will help to build the Watershed Center Agricultural Demonstration Area that will showcase grazing systems and educate farmers, according to a news release from Lucky’s Market. The grant to Springfield Community Gardens will support a new permaculture educational garden.

There are also other events planned around the store’s opening, Torvik said.

They include the following:

  • Tasting Fair on Jan. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — featuring live music, vendors, food samples and gift basket giveaways
  • Bags for Change through May 26 — shoppers reusing their shopping bags can choose to get a 10-cent credit on their purchase or send a donation to Ozarks Food Harvest, Ozarks Literacy Council or Harmony House.
  • Impact Day on Jan. 23 — 10 percent of the day’s total net sales will go to Care to Learn to support a Kids Mobile Clothing Closet to serve 15 Springfield schools with high levels of poverty.

The new Springfield location will join two other Missouri stores, in Rock Hill and Columbia, the release said.

Springfield’s Lucky’s Market will employ more than 100 new employees, according to a previous news release.

Springfield shoppers will be able to “sip n’ stroll” with $2 pints of beer or $3 glasses of wine throughout Lucky’s Market. The location will sell in-house smoked bacon, house-made sausages and cold-pressed nitro coffee. A bulk section will offer coffee beans, organic flour and freshly ground nut butters, among other things.

Available at the apothecary will be a “bulk DIY wall” with materials for people who want to make their own teas, salves, tinctures and elixirs, according to the release.


Girl Scouts assist Care to Learn Program

Posted on December 20th, 2017

Girl Scouts assist Care to Learn Program

Girl Scouts help CTLGAI 12_8_17

The Gainesville Girl Scouts collected $175 and several bags of non-perishable food and toiletry items during their recent collection drive at Town & Country Supermarket to assist the Care to Learn program at Gainesville Schools. From left: Brianna Conterous, Amber Gibson and Valerie Campbell with some of the goods collected in the drive. Other girls who participated included Alaina Brearue, Starr Myers, Natasha Picou, Kirstyne Barron and Valerie Campbell. Lacey Picou is the Girl Scout leader with Virginia Campbell as co-leader.


Banks raise $8,770 for Care to Learn (Bolivar Herald-Free Press)

Posted on November 24th, 2017

Banks raise $8,770 for Care to Learn

Nov 22, 2017

Battle of the Banks 2017 CTLBOL

During the biannual October Battle of the Banks, area banks duked it out to raise $8,770 for the Bolivar Care to Learn chapter.

Representing Bolivar banks at the November R-1 school board meeting are, from left, Alma Lindsay, Bank of Bolivar; Anna Presley, Bank of Bolivar; Janieca Hancock, Mid-Missouri Bank; and Matt Henenberg, Farmers State Bank.

Lori Wooten Nominated for “Giving Thanks in 2017 Volunteer List” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Posted on November 24th, 2017

Giving thanks in 2017: Lori Wooten

Lori retired from the St. Charles School District in 2014 and was immediately asked by our superintendent to spearhead the fundraising efforts for a program we partnered with, Care to Learn. Care to Learn provides immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene so every student can be successful in school. Care to Learn-St. Charles would not be anywhere near successful without Lori’s brains, drive, compassion, ferocious personality and overall heart. Lori’s efforts have contributed to raising over $143,000 over the last three years resulting in helping St. Charles School District students nearly 9,000 times. This past gala held at Ameristar on Oct. 28 was our most successful event to date bringing in over $20,000 more than the previous year. Every dollar made goes directly back to our students. Lori is the heart of Care To Learn-St. Charles and without her, our students would not be as successful. She is a servant, a staple within the St. Charles community, and has a heart of gold.

—Nominated by Ellen Heitzig


C2LOzark: Summer feeding is in full swing! Thanks to our amazing volunteers who are delivering food each Wednesday…