Care to Learn is a Missouri organization started in Springfield by Doug Pitt, Brad Pitt’s brother, and now has chapters across the state.
Care to Learn Union Star Chapter Liaison Mindi Phillips said the organization exists to meet the emergent needs of health, hunger and hygiene for local school children.
“Our organization serves Union Star R-2,” Phillips said. “Our goal is to help children stay in school successfully through help with needs like emergency food, medicine, hygiene needs, clothing, shoes, things like that.”
The chapter got started in Union Star three years ago and is the first in northwest Missouri. Phillips said the way it works is teachers, bus drivers or any staff member let’s them know if they notice a child is in need.
“Maybe they come to the bus with no coat or not the proper shoes for winter time or someone notices that they’re always late for breakfast,” Phillips said. “If there’s any place that we can serve a need so that they’re paying more attention in school (and) their attendance is better… we can provide funding for haircuts, get them to a doctor’s appointment through transportation or paying for a doctor’s bill if their parents are unable to, (or) providing emergency food when needed.”
Phillips said if a need is identified, they try to turn around and meet that need in a customized way within 24 hours.
“It’s an individualized need so no child gets clothing that’s too big or too small, too worn out and puts them back in the same sense of low self-esteem,” Phillips said. “It brings them up and shows them immediately that the community is caring, so that they can stay in school to learn and they really benefit from that directly.”
Care to Learn relies on donations and a fundraiser will be held all day on July 20th at Buffalo Wild Wings in St. Joseph. Customers dining in or ordering carry-out can specify to their server they want to support Care to Learn and 10% goes back to Care to Learn Union Star.
For more information, call Mindi Phillips at (816) 596-0701 or go to the Care to Learn Union Star Facebook page. Donations can be mailed or delivered to:
Care to Learn- Union Star
P.O. Box 76
Union Star, MO 64494