IT STARTED WITH A PHONE CALL . . .
In 2000, the Christ Church Link helpline, an outreach ministry of Christ Episcopal Church, started to receive more and more calls from parents unable to afford school supplies for their children. In response, the Christ Episcopal Church congregation provided backpacks filled with school supplies to three area public schools for two years. Learning that the need was far greater and more widespread, they launched the Prepare for Success (PFS) program in 2002 which grew into a county-wide partnership to serve as many Howard County Public School students in need as possible.
In 2006 the Cedar Lane School joined in to help the cause. Cedar Lane where “Learning is for Everyone” is always looking for ways to combine skill development with service to the community. PFS was looking for a way to stretch donor dollars while increasing capacity. Now every fall a bulk supply purchase is delivered on pallets to the school. Come June filled backpacks are set for delivery to selected elementary schools. A true “Win Win,” and a “2 for 1” for donors.
In 2008 Roy and Susan Appletree volunteered to co-coordinate the growing effort. In 2009 the program was moved under the auspices of the Howard County Community Action Council.
In 2010, the Community Action Council (CAC) of Howard County and the Howard County Public School System and Prepare for Success signed an official partnership agreement. CAC undertook PFS’s fiscal responsibility and it is the official recipient of all tax-exempt donations.
PFS teams up with the Pupil Personnel Workers (PPWs) to distribute the supplies. The PFS volunteers provide the supplies to the PPWs at the various local schools. The PPWs confidentially select those students most in need.
For the 2016-17 school year our target is to serve over 2,500 students from families with low incomes.