Mike Johnson’s “REACH” project at Parkers Prairie High School received a $1,000 Grants in Place award for a student-centered effort that included multiple community service projects including the backpack program for the elementary school, the Angel Tree program, Feed My Starving Children, Elementary Volunteer Work, as well as a variety of other different community/school services.
Thanks to West Central Initiative, a regional community foundation based out of Fergus Falls, MN, for supporting our Minnesota Grants in Place program.
In a local newspaper article that talks about the Angel Tree program, Johnson’s “REACH” was recognized as a key Angel Tree partner and contributor to the community:
An amazing connection this program has within the community, is with the REACH class at the Parkers Prairie High School. This creative and dedicated group of kids raise funds throughout the year to purchase the “fun” items for Angel Tree children. When we teach young adults the importance of giving to others, whether it be a donation of time, money or just a simple act of kindness, it ignites a fire in them that will continue to grow and help them find belonging and contentedness to their community. The best way to make yourself feel better, is to do something good for someone else. Mike Johnson and his REACH class know all about this and have made Angel Tree an even more dynamic and meaningful program.
We are pleased to provide the following update from Mr. Johnson:
“We have been working hard on packing backpacks with food for children who are in need of extra food at their house. We have created a comfort closet which includes snacks, clothing, hygiene supplies, and winter clothing. Every other Wednesday, our REACH class goes to the elementary school and packs backs for approximately 30 elementary students. Every Friday, these backs are placed in students’ lockers so they will have extra food at their homes for the weekend. This program has been a huge success so far and is much appreciated by the students and families who receive these food items.
Along with the backpack program, our REACH class had a very successful Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) fundraiser and gathered over 1,000 food and supplies items to be donated to the RMHC at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. My family and I delivered these items and the RMHC coordinator said that it was one of the biggest donations they have received.
We are still working diligently to improve our high school comfort closet, by raising awareness, collecting items to fill the close, etc."