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It’s 2007 and Doug Pitt is sitting in a Chamber Board Meeting listening to a presentation on poverty in his hometown.

He hears things that surprise him: A story about a little boy wearing his mom’s jeans because he didn’t own a pair of his own, and another about two siblings who have to share a toothbrush because they can’t afford to purchase additional hygiene products.

Stories like these continue. 

By the end of the presentation, Doug realizes he has a choice, and it’s one that’s easy to make: He’s going to help.

Within 24 hours of hearing the presentation, Doug called upon community leaders to describe the stories he heard. Doug, and those he spoke with, felt strongly that no child should suffer physically or emotionally due to lack of access to food, hygiene resources, or medical, dental, and/or mental health care.

Care to Learn wasn’t something that I set out to do. It was something that I knew was going to happen as soon as I heard the stories about children in my hometown who were suffering. I heard about how simple the fixes were, and I knew I could be a part of the solution.

- Doug Pitt, Care to Learn Founder

Within a year, Care to Learn expanded outside of the Springfield area. It continued to grow: By 2011, Care to Learn had met 100,000 health, hunger, and hygiene needs of students across 8 Chapters in the state of Missouri.

With the help of dedicated staff, school districts, and Chapter Liaisons Care to Learn continued to rapidly expand across Missouri. Now 14 years later Care to Learn has met more than two million needs of students all across the state.

“Two million is an incredible number to celebrate,” says Krystal Simon, CEO of Care to Learn. “Our Founder Doug Pitt had an idea, took action, and with the help of some passionate business leaders and friends, now millions of children are receiving the help they need the most. Millions of children's lives are changed for the better."

Care to Learn recognized this milestone with a special celebration event in 2022. Watch the recap video above.

Help Us Meet the Next Million

For more information about volunteering or to donate to Care to Learn, call 417-862-7771.

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