Every year, PCPS employees make sure that a special group of grads receive extra support as they begin life after high school.
The Sunshine Committee — part of PCPS’ Learning Support division — raises money and provides gifts to graduates under the care of our Hearth Project; the program assists students have experienced homelessness, as well as those who are still homeless.
“These aren’t ordinary gifts, it’s to help these students eat, live and survive day-to-day,” says Vickie Griffis, a PCPS budgetary accountant and member of the Sunshine Committee. “These items will help them get by as they leave the school system and head out on their own.”
This year, the committee was able to fill 126 rolling duffel bags with a variety of hygiene items, linens and other necessities. Thanks to the generosity of community organizations and other donors, each graduate will also receive $100 worth of food gift cards.
In addition, PCPS will award five scholarships worth $5,000 apiece to eligible grads. The students will receive the items during an upcoming luncheon.
“We feel that after all their hard work, they deserve a celebration,” Griffis said. “We want to send them off with hope and the knowledge that people in the community care about them.”
The Sunshine Committee would like to thank Lake Ashton, Lakeland Realtors, Polk Sheriff’s Charities, and all other donors who assisted with this year’s effort. If you would like to help support this campaign, or learn more about assisting PCPS students who have experienced homelessness, please contact the Hearth Project at 863-457-4709.