“This new partnership does not replace or compete with those services, rather it complements them,” Aguilar said in a statement released by Lakota. “Our goal is to give community members yet another avenue through which they can direct their giving to the very specific needs of our most vulnerable students and their families.”
Gateway drives direct support and care by inviting local schools, mental health agencies, clergy and other service organizations to advocate for those in need. Advocates, including Lakota’s Success program community liaisons, post specific needs via a secure portal that maintains recipient anonymity.
Neighborhood Bridges then shares those needs through daily emails and social media posts — engaging the community to come together to fulfill them.
Typical needs include clothing, shoes, coats, school supplies, school fees, furniture, household items and monetary donations for medical or household expenses. One hundred percent of all donations get directed to Lakota students and their families, said officials.
Lakota Board of Education President Kelley Casper is both a fan and an official in the new effort.
“This program makes it so easy to connect our students’ needs with resources right here in our community and is just another tool to help us make learning equally accessible to every student,” said Casper.
Families, community members and businesses can follow needs in the community by subscribing to email updates on the Neighborhood Bridges Lakota webpage and by following on social media channels that include: Facebook and Twitter.