Marjorie’s Hope, the Pasco nonprofit that serves teachers and students, won a $25,000 Neighborhood Assist grant from State Farm after members of the community voted the program among the top 40 causes deserving of funding.
With the award money, Marjorie’s Hope will purchase items for its Tools 4 Teachers program, which provides school and hygiene supplies to Pasco County teachers free of charge. This program was put in place to enable teachers to stock their classrooms without having to use out-of-pocket expenses.
“That is life-altering, it’s like moving a mountain range,” said Debi Shackowsky, founder of Marjorie’s Hope. “It’s everything for us, more so in how we can help teachers in this county, resulting in actually helping students.”
The State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant is a crowd-sourced philanthropic program that works with nonprofits to identify issues in its communities. The top 40 causes received a grant to make improvements, and winners were announced among 18 states. More than 125,000 people cast three million votes, and Shackowsky wanted to make sure the community was thanked for its efforts to help the nonprofit win.
The Tools 4 Teachers program is located at Wendell Krinn Technical High School, thanks to a donation of available space by the school board. Teachers can shop in the classroom for necessary supplies but are limited to how much they can take. What doesn’t count against their shopping are personal hygiene supplies for students who arrive at school early to shower.
“Most people don’t realize how many kids in this county go to school to take a shower every day,” Shackowsky said. “They usually leave (hygiene supplies) at the nurses station.”
Additionally, the nonprofit keeps an Amazon wish list on its Facebook page for anyone who wishes to donate to Tools 4 Teachers.
Marjorie’s Hope also recently received the donation of a 1985 Corvette classic convertible. The nonprofit will be selling raffle tickets at $100 each and will limit the number of ticket sales to 300. Ticket information can be found by visiting the nonprofit’s Facebook page.
Shackowsky created the nonprofit in honor of her sister, who was killed in a drunk driving incident. Marjorie was involved with volunteering at schools, and so her sister wished to carry on Marjorie’s example.
“We believe in giving back to those who help feed us,” Shackowsky said. “We have people in Hernando who support our cause and so we have helped teachers in their schools as well.”
Marjorie’s Hope serves students in multiple ways by offering a backpack program, a boutique for students and teachers, and scholarships.
To learn more about the nonprofit, visit https://marjorieshope.com.