In the late 1990’s my children were in elementary school and I was very active as room mom, PTO president, etc. One day I was approached by a teacher asking if the PTO could buy dictionaries for his entire class. We were a small PTO and couldn’t afford a project like that. He then said he knew there were going to be a couple of students whose families just couldn’t afford the dictionaries. I said I was sure we could do something to help those few children. I spoke with teachers and other parents. I found out that there were always a couple of students who couldn’t afford field trips, class projects, activity fees, etc. In those cases, the teachers themselves often reached into their own pockets to help. So we formed a project called ‘e-Angels’. We would gather the e-mail addresses of people who wanted to help, and we’d send out an e-mail when we’d find out about a need. People would make tax-deductible donations to the PTO, and we would write a check to cover the need. The program continued there long after my children went on to middle school. Then for 7 years, I did the same program with another school’s PTO not far from us and it was tremendously successful. Finally in 2013 we decided to grow the concept to help many more children and formed a nonprofit ‘e-Angels Incorporated’. As our mission statement says, we are here to “help children fully participate in a rich educational experience regardless of socio-economic status.”
With the needs of schoolchildren for a safe educational environment becoming a priority following the tragedies in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere, e-Angels is tackling the issue with our Silver Linings Project to identify students who may be feeling isolated and disconnected from their peers and community as well as unable to cope with their feelings. Our goal is to redirect them toward positive outcomes through partnership with community resources and meaningful mentoring programs to develop young citizens with appreciation for their roles in society through the intrinsic rewards of service to their community.