Staff at Richmond school launch fundraiser for struggling families

Richmond school staffers launch fundraiser for struggling families
Mira Vista Elementary, 6397 Hazel Ave. in Richmond. (Photo by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

A trio of office staffers from Richmond’s Mira Vista Elementary have launched an online Go Fund Me fundraiser in support of the K-8 school’s struggling families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equipped with $500 seed funding from Go Public Schools, Mira Vista’s Marilyn Gwinn-Scott, Adela Lutz and Alma Estrada have established “The Mira Vista Families Fund,” which will be used to purchase items for household supply packs for the school’s families in need. The current goal is to raise $2,500; to support the school’s Go Fund Me, click here.

The household supply packs will be assembled and “given away or delivered to those of our families who need them, by volunteer staff,” stated Gwinn-Scott, a community outreach worker at Mira Vista, on the fundraising page.

“We hope to be able to fund a continuing project that may last through the summer months, depending on the general and ever-changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus issue and the shelter-in-place order.”

The household supply packs will include crucial items not available for purchase with a California EBT card, i.e., soap, shampoo, toothpaste, detergent, dish soap, toothbrushes, etc., per Gwinn-Scott. Eventually, the group may also distribute food if the need is determined. Approximately 60 percent of Mira Vista students participate in the Free and Reduced Price Meals program, she noted.

Upon completion of the fundraiser, Gwinn-Scott said Mira Vista will issue a robo-call to its school community to determine which families require the household supply packs.

The current game plan is to hopefully begin shopping at the beginning of next week and distribute the household supply packs at the beginning of June, according to Gwinn-Scott.

Working with Go Public School’s Maribel Lopez, the Mira Vista staffers also connected 11 Mira Vista families hit hard by the pandemic to the organization, which granted them $500 each. “It’s a scary time for families,” said Gwinn-Scott.

Early indications are the fundraising effort is off to a promising start. As of this writing, The Mira Vista Families Fund has received $1,395 in donations out of its $2,500 goal. Gwinn-Scott credited Lopez, Mira Vista’s office staff and PTA liaisons for stepping up to help at the effort’s onset.

While Gwinn-Scott is encouraged by the fund’s strong start—indicating that “it’s been a true testament to, ‘it takes a village to raise our kids’”—there’s still work to be done to hit the fundraising goal.

Mira Vista Elementary is located at 6397 Hazel Ave. in Richmond; learn more about the school here. To support the school’s families in need via the Go Fund Me initiative, click here.