Community Response Fund
Although we have needed to temporarily close our doors in a physical sense, the door to Friends’ Central is always open in our hearts and minds. The past several weeks have challenged each of us in many ways, but in these uncertain times, there has also come great comfort in the warm outpouring of support and concern from our community.
While we continue to navigate these uncertain waters together, we know that, without assistance, some in our school community will experience financial hardship in the days and weeks ahead.
This is why we have launched the Community Response Fund. This fund will provide support for FCS hourly workers and families most affected by the current situation. Beneficiaries of the fund will include campus security officers who keep us safe and greet us at the crosswalks each day, food service workers who prepare and serve our lunches and snacks, instrumental music teachers, aquatics coaches, and Extended Day after-school programming staff.
Click here to give online. You can also give through Venmo.
Every dollar raised, up to the first $50,000, will double in impact, as a generous FCS family has offered to match all gifts up to the first $50,000 raised one-to-one!
The fund will be administered by the Financial Aid Committee and the Director of Finance and Operations. Information for current FCS families regarding how to apply to the Community Response Fund will be shared in future communications. Questions may be directed to ResponseFund@friendscentral.org or to Colette Kleitz, Chief Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-645-5076.
Thank you for your support!
UPDATE: Friday, March 27, 2020
Thank you! We are so pleased to let you know that we are more than halfway to reaching our Community Response Fund goal of $50,000 to match our generous donor family! This fund will support FCS hourly workers and families most affected by the current shutdown. In addition to this outpouring of gifts, we have also received some questions about the fund and Friends’ Central.
With respect to hourly workers, it is our intention to continue paying those employees until we come back together. Some of these workers are part-time Friends’ Central employees, some are employees of an outside contractor, but all are valued members of the FCS community, such as the food service personnel. In our regular day-to-day lives, their salaries are covered not by tuition but by other income such as the School Store, aquatics program fees, food purchased, music lessons taught, etc. We value all people who work on our campus and want to pay these workers in the absence of incoming fees. This is why we are so grateful for the gifts we’ve received. They are, in effect, replacing incoming fees.
About the needs of vulnerable families: You have probably seen the headlines - unemployment is skyrocketing. Preservation of our community is at the front of our thinking. Based on our experience during the recession of 2008, we know that some FCS families will struggle and may need additional financial support for 2019-2020 school-related expenses. Their needs will most certainly exceed our current budget. Gifts to this fund will help us support Friends’ Central family needs, and thus will help us preserve our community of students and families.
You might be asking about savings - what about costs we are not incurring and why don’t they cover new costs? It is true that there will be savings, but there are significant costs, as well, such as new remote-learning costs and refunds of fees already paid. We are examining our practices to see if there are overall savings. Any realized savings will contribute to additional financial aid needs.
We are moved by the outpouring of care, both for the School and for the people who work here. We created the Community Response Fund as an avenue for parents, alumni/ae, and friends who were asking how they could help. It seems equally in keeping with your warmth and care that some community members are asking questions and expressing a desire to make sure that hourly workers and vulnerable families receive what they need. Thank you all.
Decisions regarding applications from families will be determined by the Community Response Fund Committee which includes members of the Financial Aid Committee and the Director of Finance and Operations.