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Examiner
  • Making a Difference: Bears Helping Bears

  • Cecil Ray Taylor is one of the many area alumni of the Independence School District who is trying to make a difference in the city’s homeless student situation through Bears Helping Bears.

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  • Cecil Ray Taylor is one of the many area alumni of the Independence School District who is trying to make a difference in the city’s homeless student situation through Bears Helping Bears.
    Saturday, there will be a fundraiser for the district’s homeless students. It begins with a breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 120 S. Pleasant. Cost is $7 per person. In addition, the alumni association will be accepting clothing donations, including jeans, belts, warm coats and other winter clothing. Shoes and underclothes must be brand new.
    The monetary donations collected will be given to the Independence School District Foundation to provide direct assistance to homeless students. Clothing will be donated to Tabitha’s Closet at the First Christian Church.
    Why was this organization started?
    “Back in November of 2011, several William Chrisman alumni became aware of the magnitude of the homeless student situation. They demanded action to help these students, and so a concentrated effort to learn how the alumni association could work within the framework of the Independence School District Foundation to help these students was begun.”
    Why do the ISD alumni want to serve the community and students in this way?
    “Chrisman, Truman and Van Horn high schools have storied traditions and a proud heritage. We were taught to give back to the community and to care about other human beings – so much so, that now it is practically a habit.”
    What drives these alumni to help the homeless students in Independence?
    “We are all interconnected and their success is our success. Their current plight is just a temporary bump in the road, and like the Bears Helping Bears image – a timely hand can make all the difference in the world to these young people.”
    What other fundraisers do you have?
    “We do small venue fundraisers at the Masonic Lodge. These vary in make-up, but are basically a breakfast fundraiser, a middle of the day activity or lunch and, when possible, a small venue fundraiser concert in the evening.
    “Our second donation collection event has been made possible by AutoTek in the Chrisman Plaza Shopping Center. These are held on one Saturday a month during the school year (except December).”
    For more information, visit www.Homeless-Students.com.
     
     

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