MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The time to give back is here, and one local organization that focuses on improving student achievement has been able to help thousands of families.
With COVID-19 bringing financial hardships for many families in Memphis, Memphis Education Fund says they saw the need to help families with children navigating through virtual school.
Over 5 weeks, Memphis Education Fund handed out a total of 1.3 million dollars in funds to Shelby County School and Achievement School District families.
“What we realized through the pandemic that there was still a need to focus on supporting parents that had students attending public schools specifically,” Terence Patterson, President of Memphis Education Fund, said.
Patterson says they handed out grants to over 3,000 families in Frayser, Whitehaven, North Memphis, and Hickory Hill.
“What better way than to provide micro grant to the tune of either $250, $500 or $750 to just ensure that families had rent paid, they had food,” said Patterson.
Patterson says the funds for the COVID-19 response family grant program came from private donors and state grants.
Marquita Finnie has six kids in the SCS district, she was one of the many to receive financial help.
“I’m grateful for it because it’s going to help me put a deposit down,” Finnie said.
Finnie says it’s been 9 weeks since her family has been without a home, and she thanks MEF from the bottom of her heart.
“I just want to thank them because they didn’t have to say they want to help families, they helped a lot of families,” Finnie said.
Patterson says he’s glad they were able to help over 3,000 families but knows the need is much larger.
At this time, he says he’d like to extend the program but needs to collect more funds.