Donation drive raises more than $36,000 for homeless students - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Donation drive raises more than $36,000 for homeless students

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A one of a kind donation drive is helping more than a thousand homeless children in the Madison Metropolitan School District. The whole thing started when a few local credit unions heard that statistic and decided to help out.

Organizers of this donation drive are simply shocked by the community's generosity. Many were inspired to donate after watching the heartfelt videos that put young faces to the issue of homelessness.

Each video features children in the city of Madison who are living without a home.  They're personal stories shared online with the purpose of showcasing just how serious and prevalent homelessness is in the Madison community.

"We might not be able to change what happens outside of school but we certainly can have some impact on what happens during the school day," Janie Koester of the Transition Education Program says.

Koester and the rest of the Transition Education Program offer homeless students support so they can walk into class each day ready to learn. Thanks to these heartfelt videos and the support from a handful of local credit unions the group now has the funding to do so much more.

"Every community struggles with homelessness, but what you forget about are the children and how it effects the kids," Robin Marohn of Heartland Credit Union says.

On Thursday, members of the 2013 Give Local campaign presented a check for more than $36,000 to help students with books, backpacks and other school supplies, as well as create a space where kids can get ready each morning before school.

"We know how important it is to feel good about yourself when you walk into school. We're finding a location where kids can get ready. They can get showered so they can be prepared to do their best and feel like one of the other kids in their class," Stephanie Hayden of the Foundation for Madison Public Schools explains.

While the official donation drive is over, organizers say it's not too late to contribute.

Anyone interested in making a donation or watching one of the group's videos should visit: www.heartlandcu.org/givelocal

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