The 2015 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 19-26th.
Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org
NOW MEET DS KIDS FUN FOUNDATION WITH BOARD PRESIDENT, JENNIFER DODSON:
DS Kids Fun Foundation – formerly DS Youth Activity Fund (DSYAF) – was founded in 2009. Our Board of Directors & Advisory Committee are comprised of community members with significant experience in the non-profit world , working with children, and management of extracurricular activities. We were formed out of an outreach committee within the Dripping Springs Presbyterian Church (DSPC) while brainstorming community needs we could help fill. As discussions formed around the expense of extracurricular activities, and how many of our neighbors struggle with things like critical illness and job loss – we wondered if there was a need to help families that didn’t qualify for financial aid, but were likely in need of assistance. We quickly determined that there was in fact a need – and research shows how greatly children benefit from participating in sports & the arts outside of school. We wanted to help families keep their children involved in these activities as they struggled through short-term or long-term financial struggles. We decided that this program should come from the community, not just within the walls of DSPC, so we created the Foundation – and invited others to join our newly formed Board.
DS Kids Fun Foundation was formed to provide financial assistance to children that reside in the Dripping Springs Independent School District (DSISD) who would otherwise be unable to participate in extracurricular activities due to financial constraints. Our goal is to help not only low-income families, but also children whose families are temporarily working through situations like serious illness, job loss, or divorce.
It is the desire of DS Kids Fun Foundation that each family contribute a portion of the total registration cost, as an indication of their commitment to support the child’s extracurricular activity. The recommended contribution is 20% of the total amount needed. In 2014, we expanded our guidelines to include children residing outside of DSISD that would be coming into our community to participate in extracurricular activities that are not offered in their area.
When a family requests funds from us, we ask that the child either write a note or draw a picture, demonstrating their desire to participate in the given activity. We also often receive thank you letters from the families we have helped, expressing to us how much their children have benefited from the sport or art they were able to be a part of due to our financial contribution. These drawings and notes remind us every day why we started the Foundation, and how many lives we are touching. We truly believe that by keeping children busy with extracurricular activities, they will see increased self-esteem and develop positive character traits like leadership and good sportsmanship. Those children will then grow up and go out into our community.
We began granting financial assistance in 2010, and helped four children pay their extracurricular registration fees that year. With presentations to DSISD school teachers and counselors, and working with organizations like DSYSA & DSISD Community Education, we increased that number to 32 children in 2011, 49 children in 2012, 68 in 2013, and 117 in 2014.
We continue to work to get our name out to families that might our help by communicating with organizations like DSYSA, DSISD Community Education, school counselors, PE & recreational sport coaches, art & dance instructors, and organizations like Helping Hands.
Our two primary annual fundraisers are events that allow the children of our community to get involved in raising funds to help other kids. We host a Volleyball Tournament in the Fall semester, and a Basketball Tournament in the Spring Semester. Details are available on our website: www.dskidsfunfoundation.org.
DONATE OR VOLUNTEER YEAR-ROUND:
Mail donations: P.O. Box 1185 Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Visit online: http://www.dskidsfunfoundation.org
Phone: 512-970-0205 Fax: 512-684-0444
“Like” on Facebook.com/DSKidsFunFoundation
Follow on Twitter: @DSKidsFunFoundation