We partner with Community Learning Center (CLC) Elementary Schools in Lincoln where a high percentage of students live below the poverty level. We are currently serving 12 of the 18 Title I Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Each school has an assigned liaison to identify their students in need and submits weekly information about each child selected to participate with our mission.
Volunteers make weekly deliveries to each school with the new clothing we provide. They meet one-on-one with students in that school's pre-selected area, where the children can “shop” as if they were in a store — in a way that provides privacy and dignity.
We encourage and spend time with the students while assuring an accurate fit. It's amazing to see the pride in their eyes as they look at their reflection in the mirror staring back at them, with their new clothes on. This is when the magic happens, and it's why we call these "bundles of joy."
The student then leaves with their bundle of joy: two new pairs of pants and tops, one new pair of tennis shoes, two new pairs of socks and underwear, miscellaneous hygiene items, and a coat if needed.
Each identified student can go through the program twice per year because seasons change and children grow!
Our Co-founders David and Kelly Lauer on why they started The White Cane Foundation.
The White Cane Foundation is here to provide students with basic needs through a consistent presence. An emphasis will be placed on maintaining the dignity and respect of the individual. Students are empowered to go out in the world with confidence and independence to become their very best self.
To be the light for every student with a need.
Act with dignity, grace and compassion.
Bring the joy.
Be open and accepting of others.
We started this foundation because we felt inspired to do more. We know kids are attending school and their ability to do their very best could be greatly enhanced with brand new clothing outfits to wear to school. People have come forward with great effort and passion within our community to bridge the gap for these students and be a source of positive light in their lives.
People often ask us, why the name “The White Cane Foundation?” In 2013 our family watched the music video “Lover of the Light” by Mumford & Sons. In it, a blind man leaves his white cane at home and goes out into the world with only his senses and intuition guiding him. It inspired our family to challenge each other to go out into the world and share the light. For us, that inspiration is an actual white cane that rotates between family members, symbolizing the importance of being the very best person we each can be. The cane is left at the front door each day as a reminder. We want that same motivation for our students in Lincoln.
We encourage you to watch the official music video here. Be the light!
~ Dave and Kelly Lauer
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