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K to College media coverage

September 30, 2014

430 San Pablo Kids Receive $30,000 of School Supplies from K to College

SAN PABLO, CALIFORNIA — Today hundreds of happy kids in San Pablo received tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of school supplies as part of a charitable event sponsored by the San Pablo Community Foundation, the George Miller Youth Fund, and the nonprofit organization K to College. Attending the distribution event at Lake Elementary School were 430 excited students, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, City of San Pablo Mayor Paul Morris, City of San Pablo Vice-Mayor Kathy Chao Rothberg, and Councilmembers Cecilia Valdez and Genoveva Garcia Calloway.

“There is nothing greater for these students than knowing that someone believes in them and their abilities,” said Lake Elementary Principal Brenda Surgers. “Receiving these school supply kits provides a big boost for our school, our teachers, and most of all our students. It’s amazing to witness what this inspires.”

Since 2010, K to College has provided more than 50,000 children and youth in Contra Costa County with school and dental supply kits. Founded in Berkeley, K to College has expanded into a statewide program, while continuing to address the needs of Bay Area children and youth. With more than 95% of Lake Elementary students enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program, local leaders say that providing these materials is essential for a successful school year.

"The City of San Pablo is committed to encouraging all students in our city, at whatever educational level, to achieve the best they can possibly be,” said San Pablo Mayor Paul Morris. The event occurred thanks to contributions from the San Pablo Community Foundation and the George Miller Youth Fund. Through partnerships with corporate sponsors such as Give Something Back Office Supplies, K to College was able to provide three dollars of supplies for every dollar donated for the school supplies.

K to College says that the partnership that enabled today’s distribution is a model that can be replicated elsewhere. “San Pablo’s successful support for their under-resourced children is an example of what a collaborative effort can produce with the right civic and corporate leadership,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director of K to College. “K to College continues to work to bring similar solutions to other communities throughout the region and state.”

The program is collaborating with more than 200 county offices of education and school districts throughout California with the goal of building a statewide system to ensure that all children and youth receive the basic materials they need for school. The organization’s initial focus is to serve the state’s 270,000 homeless children, but also Title 1 schools where possible. K to College’s school supply kits contain back-to-school essentials like paper, pencils, art supplies, and a white board.

About K to College

K to College is a nonprofit operating the largest charitable school supply, dental supply and other material distribution program in California. From 2010-2013, K to College has distributed more than $14,500,000 of school supplies, dental supplies and other basic materials to more than 230,000 children in more than 100 school districts throughout California. The program is projected to reach more than 200 county offices of education and school districts in 2015.

Replicating the successful model of regional food banks, K to College is building a statewide "Supply Bank" to effectively and efficiently address the material needs of California's disadvantaged children and youth. Similar to how food banks work with farmers, government agencies and others to efficiently distribute food to alleviate hunger, K to College works with manufacturers, school districts, and social service agencies to distribute basic materials to alleviate kids' material needs. By working with a sympathetic network of manufacturers and buying supplies direct, coordinating streamlined assemblies of the materials into kits, and distributing to at-risk kids through partnering school districts, the organization is working to systematically ensure that every child receives the materials they need.

September 29, 2014

K to College Partners with UCLA Volunteer Center to Provide Supplies to LA Elementary School

The press release below is from the UCLA Volunteer Center.

For the past two years, Korean War veteran Herman Heisserer has wanted to see the outdoor furniture at the Veterans Home of California — West Los Angeles get spruced up. Thanks to a busload of UCLA volunteers it finally happened this morning.

The students sanded benches, patio tables and chairs, mostly by hand, and when Heisserer wasn’t chipping in he provided entertainment by playing a few numbers on his harmonica. Meanwhile, as the students worked on the furniture, another group of volunteers weeded a garden nearby. Inside, volunteers helped catalogue materials in the facility’s library and played games with residents.

“It really made my day,” said Heisserer, an 83-year-old Army veteran who served from 1951-1953, including a 10-month deployment to Korea. “And I thank you for coming here.”

The 50 volunteers, who were later joined by Chancellor Gene Block and his wife, Carol, were there as part of UCLA’s sixth annual Volunteer Day, during which more than 7,000 Bruins fanned out across more than 40 locations in Los Angeles County to help beautify, mentor, clean, paint, garden, sort and otherwise help out. Organized by UCLA’s Volunteer Center, Volunteer Day is designed to emphasize that volunteerism is at the heart of being a Bruin, and to inspire new and returning volunteers to join the center in serving the community throughout the year.

“It’s nice to give back to our veterans because they’ve done so much for us,” said volunteer Aditi Newadkar, a freshman from Pleasanton, California, who helped out at the Veterans Home.

In groups as small as 50 and as large as 400, Bruins could be spotted across Greater Los Angeles as they landscaped Griffith Park, cleaned trash from the banks of Ballona Creek, and joined senior citizens in their Zumba classes and computer labs. At more than two dozen schools, the volunteers painted murals, weeded gardens and mentored thousands of students.

Volunteer Day kicked off before 8 a.m. as more than 6,500 students began streaming down from the Hill to line up on the Intramural Field. They joined hundreds of team captains and project leaders and waited to board a fleet of buses that would take them to the volunteer sites.

The grassy field roiled with mass movement as wave upon wave of blue T-shirted students joined up in lines, circles and knots of humanity, before they headed out. This year marked the first Volunteer Day that all new students as well as an army of volunteers and residence hall advisors convened in one location to board buses rather than wait at multiple pick-up points around the campus.

“It’s really exciting to have everybody in one place,” said Shannon Hickman, assistant director of the UCLA Volunteer Center as she stood in the middle of what looked like organized chaos, but was being well managed by an army of residence hall advisors.

While some students still looked dazed from sleep, others were more than just awake. A small group gyrated wildly to fast rhythms blaring over loudspeakers as they took dance cues from a group of three students from UCLA Recreation and FITWELL who were doing high-energy choreographed moves on a small stage.

“It’s a good way to start out the year on the right foot and on a positive note,” said freshman Lydia Wang of Atlanta, Georgia. “And you get to meet a lot of people. In high school, I did quite a bit of volunteering. But it’s really awesome to see that a lot of Bruins have this volunteer spirit.”

Even students who weren’t required to volunteer decided to join in on the fun day of service. “This is my first time volunteering. I’m just so glad to be able to do this,” said Joyce Meng, a third-year doctoral student in statistics. While waiting to board a bus, Meng joined the ranks of students enthusiastically dancing on the grass to a hip hop beat. “I feel so glad I can be a part of this. I really love this school.”

Later in the morning four busloads carrying a total of 200 volunteers arrived at Los Angeles Elementary School in Koreatown. LAES, where every student qualifies for free lunches, is one of this year's largest projects, and the students were joined by Chancellor Block, State Senate President pro Tem-elect Kevin De León and other officials.

The LAES students formed two rows at the entrance of the school and greeted the arriving Bruins with a gauntlet of high-fives. At a school assembly Block spoke to about 100 fifth graders about UCLA’s pillar of service.

“The important thing is our students are learning volunteerism,” said Block, who noted that many of them volunteered in high school. “Now we want to make that tradition continue throughout college and have our students help out in the community.”

Volunteers painted a retaining wall in the kindergarten section. By the end of the project, many Bruins bore the signs of a job well-done with smears of paint smattered across their new Volunteer Day T-shirts.

De León noted that in addition to the work the swarms of volunteers were doing — painting the walls, weeding planter boxes, talking to the students about college, and distributing $45,000 worth of school and dental supplies provided by the nonprofit K to College — they were also acting as role models.

“They're not getting paid. They're doing this from their hearts,” De León told the students during the assembly. He looked around the room. “How many of you boys and girls want to go to college?” Virtually every hand shot up into the air.

“I was always trained growing up that I would go to college but I know not every kid’s life is like that,” said UCLA freshman Taylor Mitsuuchi who played with the first graders on the playground after putting down a drop cloth for a painting project. “So I think it's cool that UCLA is helping to make an impression so early.”

The annual day of service is organized by the Volunteer Center, which asks community partners for a wish list of what they would like accomplished by Bruins on Volunteer Day, and the center sets up the leadership, supplies and training to make their wishes come true. Throughout the year, the Volunteer Center solicits recommendations for volunteer locations from locals and elected officials, and arranges volunteer opportunities for Bruins eager to stay involved in the community.

September 13, 2014

K to College Hosts Annual Berkeley Volunteer Event for Area's Disadvantaged Kids

Hundreds of Volunteers Assembled Thousands of School Supply Kits for Local Kids

On Sunday, August 24, K to College hosted their Annual Berkeley Volunteer Event. This year's event was held in the Chevron Auditorium of the International House near UC Berkeley. Volunteers helped assemble more than 3,500 school supply kits that were given to children eligible for the free & reduced lunch program attending Berkeley Public Schools. Volunteers from Kaiser Permanente, Give Something Back Office Supplies, the Berkeley Lions Club, and UC Berkeley spent the day working together to provide needed materials for students to start the school year off right.

On September 13, 2014, the school supply kits were distributed to children and youth eligible for the free & reduced lunch program attending Berkeley Public Schools. The distribution was made possible through partnerships with the City of Berkeley, Kaiser Permanente, Give Something Back Office Supplies, and Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD). More than 1,000 school supply kits were given out to kids by Berkeley Unified Staff and Kaiser Permanente volunteers. Additional school supply kits will be distributed to kids in need through BUSD's Office of Family Engagement and Equity.

The event also featured a number of providers of health and social service resources available in Berkeley through a partnership with the City of Berkeley's Public Health program, Heart 2 Heart (H2H). Participating agencies providing resources for families included:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Berkeley Housing Authority
  • Heart 2 Heart (H2H)
  • LifeLong Medical Care
  • EMSCorp Case Manager
  • Berkeley Endocrine Clinic
  • Alameda County Healthy Homes Department
  • Alameda County Public Health Department
  • Ethnic Health Institute

On behalf of the K to College team, thank you to the many supporters that made this program a success!

September 11, 2014

With a Focus on the Homeless, Target and the County of Santa Clara Partner with the State’s Largest School Supply Nonprofit to Aid Local Kids

SAN JOSE, California – Target volunteers teamed up with the nonprofit organization K to College to give school supply kits and dental kits to all 580 kids at Olinder Elementary School in San Jose. The event was part of a new public-private partnership between Target, Santa Clara County and K to College, which will provide school supply kits and dental kits to more than 3,000 kids from homeless and other low-income families throughout the County.

Attending were a playground with hundreds of happy kids, numerous Target volunteers, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, San Jose Unified Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews, and representatives from K to College.

Santa Clara County is home to one-fourth of the Title One population of Bay Area school children and more homeless children than any other county in the Bay Area, with 4,503 as of June 2013. “Although we live in one of the wealthiest regions in the nation, the needs among our youth and families continues to grow,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “That is why efforts such as this, which directly addresses poverty itself, is so crucial to our children’s success.”

This new partnership will initially benefit 3,000 students, with the County focusing on the homeless and corporations such as Target focusing on both the homeless and low-income schools. “At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with K to College as we work to strengthen Santa Clara County communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”

Modeling the business models of food banks, K to College says the partnership is an example of how its “supply bank” model can solve the unmet basic material needs of low-income kids. “Today’s distribution is a celebration of a great effort in Santa Clara County and another example of how our supply bank model can leverage limited resources for a great impact,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director of K to College. “Santa Clara County and its leadership in both the private and public sectors have demonstrated how these collaborative efforts can produce substantial and efficient results, but there is still much to be done.”

This year, Target, Santa Clara County and K to College will be able to assist more than 3,000 kids throughout the County. Most of those served will be homeless children and youth, a population that has increased more than 100% in the last two years in Santa Clara County. Support will also go to schools such as Olinder Elementary, which has more than 90% of its students enrolled in the subsidized school lunch program.

“These materials mean so much to our school’s students, teachers and families,” said Olinder Elementary Principal Carla Chávez Torres. “Too many of our students struggle to get the basic materials they need for class. We are grateful for this wonderful gift.” Each school supply kit contained essentials like paper, pencils, erasers, art supplies, and more. Each dental kit contained oral hygiene basics like toothpaste, floss, but also a bilingual pamphlet providing best practices for parents and kids. In addition to Target, additional major corporate partners in the region include Kaiser Permanente, Huawei Technologies and others.

About K to College

K to College, founded in 2008 by a group of UC Berkeley students and alumni, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that models the approach of food banks to address the unmet material needs of homeless and other low-income kids, serving tens of thousands of disadvantaged kids each year. Through various partnerships and economies of scale, the program can produce up to a three dollar benefit for every dollar invested. The organization’s vision is to ensure that all children have the basic materials they need to develop, learn and thrive.

From 2010-2013, K to College has distributed more than $14,500,000 of grade-appropriate school and dental supply kits to more than 230,000 students in more than 100 California school districts. In an effort to target public school students identified as homeless and others enrolled in the subsidized lunch program, K to College partners directly with school districts to help mass distribute supplies and reach those most in need.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,856 stores across the United States and Canada, and at Target.com. The company plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood

September 10, 2014

Join Congressman Honda and Mayor Matthews for the Santa Clara Home Show Charity Pregame Pancake Breakfast

This Sunday, September 14th, Congressman Mike Honda and Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews will be spending their 49ers pregame morning serving pancakes as part of a Pre-Game Charity Pancake Breakfast benefiting K to College! Taking place on the final day of the World Class Shows South Bay Show at the Santa Clara Convention Center, breakfast will be served from 9:00am - 11:00am. As the official charity of World Class Home Shows, proceeds from the breakfast will go to K to College, supporting their efforts to provide school supplies and other materials to homeless children in Santa Clara County.

Following the breakfast you can visit K to College at the World Class Shows' South Bay Fall Home Show, where K to College will be featured to raise awareness of our effort to help homeless children and youth in Santa Clara County acquire the basic materials they need to achieve.

Please also visit K to College's table at the South Bay Fall Home & Garden Show on Friday, September 12 from 12pm-6pm and on Saturday, September 13 from 10am-6pm!

September 3, 2014

A Free Way To Help: Amazon Brings A Smile to K to College

A Free Way To Help: Amazon Brings A Smile to K to College

By just shopping as you normally do on Amazon, you can now support K to College. For qualified purchases (just about everything), the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to K to College to help provide basic material needs assistance for homeless and low-income children throughout the state. It’s the same price you normally pay, free to sign up, and every dollar will be matched in-kind.

How it Works

Click Here to Sign Up for Amazon Smile

1. Click on the link above (or go to smile.amazon.com) The link will take you directly to the K to College specific sign up.

2. When shopping through Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com and enter your Amazon password (it may automatically go to your account).

3. Products that are eligible for the AmazonSmile matching donation will be noted in the description.

4. Shop as you normally would, knowing that part or all of your purchase is helping support disadvantaged children and youth.

For more information and frequently asked questions, click here.

August 25, 2014

K to College Partners with World Class Shows: First Event September 6th and 7th

World Class Shows

To increase awareness of our effort to help homeless and other low-income kids throughout California acquire the basic materials they need to achieve, K to College is partnering with World Class Shows! The top producer of Home Improvement & Garden Shows, World Class Shows serves all corners of the Bay Area and soon other parts of California.

Attracting thousands of people at each event, K to College’s efforts to assist homeless and low-income school children will be highlighted, along with ways in which the public can help, at each upcoming show. As their featured cause, K to College will also be featured in World Class Shows direct mailings, billboards, commercials and other media at each individual show. This includes the upcoming Marin show in San Rafael on September 6th and 7th and three other shows in the South and East Bay Areas in the coming weeks. Look for K to College team members at each of these upcoming shows by visiting our booth. More information about World Class Shows is available at www.worldclassshows.com.

August 8, 2014

K to College Partners with San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and District Attorney's Office

K to College has partnered with the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office to provide at-risk youth with school supplies.

The new partnership, headed by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, will enable K to College to provide children and youth served by these programs with school supplies for the next three years. Various stakeholders convened on August 5, 2014 to commemorate the partnership and celebrate the arrival of school supplies and dental kits for the upcoming year.