Heartland logoDid you know that more than 900 students in our schools are homeless? Heartland Credit Union is matching donations for the next 6-7 weeks that will directly benefit these students.

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Transition Education Program (TEP) strives to raise awareness of this growing problem as well as provide homeless students with transportation, school supplies, breakfast and more. So far this school year, TEP has identified 964 homeless students, an increase of 30% over last year at this time.

This year, the Heartland Credit Union selected TEP as the recipient of their holiday giving project "Give Local," launching a combined campaign. Each holiday season for the past several years, they have chosen an organization to benefit with the goal of raising awareness as well as money. This year they've invited other area credit unions to join them to increase impact and grant funding.

In this story, learn how you can help kids like De'Jerah, a local seventh grader, who's meeting life's challenges head on with the help of school, family and friends.

The campaign will run for 6-7 weeks starting on December 11. Donate now

Heartland Credit Union began the campaign funding with a base of $5,000 and have since raised that amount to $11,100 by rallying other credit unions* in the area. The credit unions will match additional donations dollar for dollar with funds going to support TEP.

TEP plans to use some of the funds as seed money to create a “Getting Ready for School” shower and transportation pick up site, where unsheltered students and their families could go to get ready for school in the morning. Some of the funds will be used for items that cannot be accessed through other means and yet are critical for student engagement. Examples might be class pictures, haircuts, yearbooks or school book sales. It could also be used for other immediate needs, such as snow pants, boots and winter jackets.

*Heartland Credit Union is working in partnership with the following credit unions to make this possible: