StandUp for Kids – Orange County
Each day, StandUp for Kids – Orange County strives to make a difference in the lives of homeless and underprivileged youth. From grocery deliveries to tutoring sessions, no stone is left unturned by the volunteers and mentors that make up the organization.
StandUp for Kids – Orange County’s success and ability to connect with numerous youths and families comes from its partnerships within local communities.
Once such partnership involves Fairmont Preparatory Academy, whose campus is located in Anaheim. It strives to instill values of selflessness and a commitment to community service with its culturally diverse student body.
One of the initiatives that has made the collaboration between StandUp for Kids – Orange County and Fairmont Preparatory Academy so successful is the brown bag lunch program, something that was first conceived by a student at the school.
The spirit of altruism and desire to help out in the community is not uncommon at Fairmont Prep. Students at the academy are asked to fulfill a certain amount of community service hours. However, many students go above and beyond what is required.
“They have to do 80 hours of community service to graduate. There are a lot of overachievers so I have kids that are doing 100 and 400 hours. I had one this year that did 600 hours. There’s lots of love to give back,” says Director of Community Service at Fairmont Preparatory Academy, Anna Kunkle.
The idea of establishing a program to provide lunches for homeless youth first originated from Leela, then a freshman student at the academy. Leela would go onto to create a club that would allow for students to get involved with helping prepare meals for those in need. It was then that Anna put her in contact with Carlia Oldfather, Director of Operations for StandUp for Kids – Orange County.
“I introduced Carlia to one of the freshmen that had started a club called Food Served Here. They wanted to make brown bag meals for low-income children. It was a perfect match.”
Students of the Food Served Here club are responsible for collecting and preparing the lunches before it is picked up by StandUp for Kids – Orange County staff members and delivered to the youth. The operation has grown exponentially over the past four years helping bag around eighty lunches a month.
The successful efforts of the students and volunteers in their mission have not gone unnoticed. With the current crisis preventing students from attending school, there is available food that has been left unattended to.
The Nutrition Management Services Company, food provider for Fairmont Preparatory Academy, has joined the collaboration eager to help by providing their resources to those in need.
The ever-evolving partnership between the students of Fairmont Preparatory Academy and StandUp for Kids – Orange County has been a fruitful one that has benefited all parties.
It’s a partnership that Anna and those at Fairmont Prep are eager to see continue as such experiences has been especially helpful for students who gain a greater understanding of the issue of youth homelessness.
“We would love to continue to support the mission of ending of youth homelessness as much as we can and help spread that message to the students so that they understand and become global citizens when they graduate,” said Anna.
The ongoing work from StandUp for Kids during this crisis and on a daily basis would not be possible without the help from Fairmont Preparatory Academy and other organizations. If your organization would like to partner with StandUp for Kids, please email Justine ([email protected]) for more information.