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Since 2008, our 41 Chapters have met more than 2 million needs. We sat down with our Director of Operations, Jhasmine Watson, to learn more about these needs, which ones are most common, and how they impact students’ daily lives.

1. Food Vouchers or Feeding Program Gaps

“Hunger affects every community, and it continues to be a huge need in every single school district. That’s why it’s number one on our list, especially with rising food costs. But, every single one of our Chapters fills this gap in a variety of ways including backpack feeding programs, food vouchers, and in-school pantries.”

2. Medical Appointments

“We see a huge increase in medical needs during winter months as students catch seasonal illnesses. The need has been exacerbated in the past few months as many students have also put off seeking preventative medical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of economic conditions.”

3. Transportation to Medical, Vision, or Dental Appointments

“Even if Care to Learn is able to cover the cost of appointments, it can often be a financial burden for families to make it to the appointment. Our Chapters work to make sure that lack of reliable transportation is not a barrier to students receiving needed medical care.”

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Hair Products Boost Confidence In Kids

4. Hair Care Products

“Shampoo, conditioner, brushes. These items give confidence to kids. Especially those who need specialty or textured hair care products. Those can be more difficult to access.”

5. Bed Bug Treatments

“Bed bugs live in warm places. If a household has a bed bug infestation many times they will also find them in a student’s Chromebook. This electronic device is a critical learning tool, so our Chapters can step in and help treat a home to ensure a student can continue to do their schoolwork.”

6. Laundry Vouchers

“Our Chapters work hard to provide new clothing to their students in need, but without access to a working washer and dryer, these new clothes can quickly become unusable. Providing laundry vouchers to students is an easy way to meet them where they are and ensure the help they receive continues to benefit them."

Boy in gray sweater brushing teeth and smiling
Care to Learn Covers Dental Work as Well as Toothbrushes & Toothpaste

7. Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

“It’s one of the most impactful stories about why Care to Learn started: Three siblings were sharing a toothbrush. It still happens.”

8. Dental Work

“My favorite story was a recent one involving a student who was able to attend prom with a brand new smile. We all remember the pressure of how we looked as teenagers. Having confidence in your smile can have a huge impact on your self-esteem.”

9. Deodorant

“This is a big one for our middle school and high school students. Our Chapters ensure that none of their students experience the shame of being labeled ‘the smelly kid’.”

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Students Are Unique, So Are Their Clothing Needs

10. Specialty Shoes and Clothing

“Wide shoes, tall clothing, or other items that require specific sizing or meet health needs are often out of a family’s budget. The right clothing can make a world of difference.”

11. Brand New Clothing

Whether it’s a voucher or through one of the many clothing closets in our Chapters, choice matters. There’s so much dignity in providing something brand new or allowing the student a chance to pick something of their very own.”

12. Food Debt

“Students have no control over the financial status of their family. Care to Learn Chapters often choose to come alongside their partner school districts to provide support for students with food debt to ensure all of their needs are met.”

13. Eye Exams & Glasses

“If students can’t see the board, they can’t learn! Providing support through paying for students' eye exams or glasses creates a huge improvement in a student’s academic performance.”

14. Shoes

“The privilege of getting to wear a pair of shoes that fit, are weather appropriate, and that you like shouldn’t be out of reach for students in need. Our Chapters often step in to provide brand new shoes that fit and help a student fit in with their peers.”

15. Prescriptions

“Prescriptions are often a crucial need for students, but so often the cost of paying for a prescription is a barrier. With Care to Learn funds, our Chapters can help pay for prescriptions as basic as an asthma inhaler and allergy medication to ensure that students can focus on their education."

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We don't just see needs, Care to Learn meets those needs.

Care to Learn is Turning 15!

Learn how you can help provide these critical health, hunger & hygiene items and more this April to local students in your area.

Celebrate With Us