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SEF News & Success Stories

Providing Critical Essentials to Students in Need

teacher wrapping a boy in a blanket

Many students with disabilities face financial challenges that hinder their ability to fully engage in the learning process. Unmet critical needs can significantly impact their experience within the school system and the broader community. To address this issue, the Special Education Foundation’s Critical Needs Program provides funding and support to meet various essential needs, including:

  • Incontinence Supplies: Providing child and adult sizes when Medicaid or private insurance coverage is exhausted due to illness.
  • Prescriptions: Assisting with costs for uninsured, underinsured, or those awaiting insurance coverage.
  • Nutritious Foods: Supplying healthy food options to families during winter and spring breaks or in times of crisis, where such options are scarce.
  • Basic Needs: Offering essentials like shoes, socks, undergarments, deodorant, bath soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, coats, gloves, and hats.
  • Eyeglass Repair: Covering repair costs when insurance will not replace or repair due to a revolving two-year cycle.
  • Dental Services: Funding sedation during routine cleanings and advanced dental treatments, especially for students over 18.
  • Other Supports: Providing assistance that promotes increased independence and achievement for students.

Funding for this program comes from private donations and through proceeds from SEF special events.

The Critical Needs Program aims to address these challenges, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to succeed and thrive in their educational environment. By collaborating with the Special School District, we are able to achieve our mission to support more students in need through the following annual fundraising campaigns:

Winter Coat Drive-(October-December): $5,148.42 raised to provide winter coats and other accessories to support families through the winter season.

Personal Care Drive-(April - May): $3,302.91 raised to provide everyday essentials and hygiene items to stock school care closets.

Last September, Cardinals Care also supported SEF’s Critical Needs program with a $3,000 donation to purchase shampoo, conditioner, silky bonnets, and undergarments.

Critical Needs requests can be submitted at any time. The application must be completed by a social worker, teacher, or administrator, with all required information and supporting documentation attached, including an administrator's signature.