Neighborhood Bridges, a nonprofit that facilitates direct local giving to students in need, is expanding to central Baldwin County schools.The program came to Fairhope in 2019 to serve schools in the …
Neighborhood Bridges, a nonprofit that facilitates direct local giving to students in need, is expanding to central Baldwin County schools.
The program came to Fairhope in 2019 to serve schools in the feeder pattern. It expanded during the 2021 – 2022 school year to include schools in Daphne and Spanish Fort. Now for the 2022 – 2023 school year, Neighborhood Bridges is heading to the Robertsdale feeder pattern.
Each day, advocates within schools see students in needs. These needs can include everything from new pairs of shoes, clothes, school fees, snacks, school supplies or an immediate grocery or utility need for a student and their family.
For years, the challenge has been filling those needs. Neighborhood Bridges seeks to bridge that gap.
"It's a balance," said Andy Burton, Neighborhood Bridges area director for Daphne schools. "Here are the school advocates, here are the community members. All we are is the bridge. We bridge the advocates with the community."
Neighborhood Bridges is 100% volunteer driven. Burton said there are a few key points to remember with Neighborhood Bridges.
DIRECT LOCAL GIVING
The process is simple. Advocates within participating schools will see a student in need. Advocates could be a school resource officer, principal, nurse, counselor or teacher. These advocates will post students' needs to the Neighborhood Bridges website, where they will be shared to the community in hopes of finding someone who can fill the need.
MULTIPLE WAYS TO GIVE
There are plenty of ways to stay informed on what's needed in local schools.
Needs can be viewed online at www.neighborhoodbridges.org on the Baldwin County community page. You can also make a monetary donation on the website by clicking on the Donate icon. Donations can be one-time or monthly.
The name of the student in need is never made public, Burton said.
"The critical thing to me is that it's anonymous," she said. "We don't know who the child is, or who the family is who's needing help. It's only the school advocates who know. So, the need is delivered to the school, the school takes it from there, and nobody knows who it's for. It's such a simple concept."
To learn more about the organization, view needs or to make a donation, visit www.neighborhoodbridges.org and click on the Neighborhood Bridges Baldwin County community page.