Cares is a group of committed parents and community members who provide support through McCallum’s Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP)  and counselors to the students they serve.  Through the LMHP, this support is also able to extend to the entire McCallum community including the 10 elementary and 2 middle schools that feed into Mac.  Students are able to receive assistance in the form of snacks throughout the day, grocery gift cards, mental health and mindfulness supplies, holiday assistance, dorm room shopping for graduating seniors in need, emergency financial assistance to families in need, and individual support as needed for accessing other community resources.

McCallum has the benefits of being socioeconomically and racially diverse, creating an environment of cultural inclusivity and respect for all.  In the 2018-19 school year, 20.7% of students were identified as being economically disadvantaged, and 46% were of a race/ethnicity other than white, 3% were English Language Learners.  6 of the schools in the McCallum Vertical Team are Title 1 schools, meaning that over 40% of students are economically disadvantaged.   McCallum also has a number of students who are homeless and/or “unaccompanied”(not in the physical custody of their parents).  These students and families live in shelters, temporary housing or are having to “double up” with other families.  MACares is able to provide support in a number of ways to these students and families to help them move from a crisis situation to stability.

If You Need Help or Know Someone Who Needs Help

Christel Gilbreath, LCSW
512-414-1700 ext. 53119

How to Help

There are many ways to support MACares and the students and families in need at McCallum.  Contact Cindy La Greca, 2022-2023 MACares coordinator, for more information about joining or supporting MACares.

  1. Donate non-perishable snacks directly to the school for students, attn: Christel Gilbreath.
  2. Donate to the emergency financial assistance fund, which provides one-time support to families who are in crisis and cannot afford basic needs, such as rent, utilities, clothing and medical bills. Monetary donations can be made online or in the form of check made payable to McCallum High School PTSA (please include MACares in the memo line).  Mailing address is PTSA, McCallum High School, 5600 Sunshine Dr. Austin TX 78756.  (all donations are fully tax-deductible)
  3. Donate gift cards for HEB, Target, Walmart, local restaurants, etc. Can be delivered directly to McCallum, attn: Christel Gilbreath
  4. Attend the annual fundraiser event at Ten Thousand Villages, held in early December. Details can be found on the MACares Facebook page.
  5. “Adopt-a-Senior” and assist with dorm room shopping for graduating seniors in need. Information will be sent out for this program in April. Contact for more info.

Prom Swap & Shop

McCallum typically has a Prom Swap & Shop each spring prior to prom.  The library is transformed into a “store” where any student can pick out dresses, suits and accessories for Prom at no charge!  MACares volunteers solicit donations from local stores and community members and staff the “store” to help students find what they need.




Examples of Past Emergency Financial Assistance Provided

  • Two weeks at a hotel for a McCallum senior and his mother, who was undergoing treatment for cancer ($638). In partnership with MACares, St. John’s United Methodist Church assumed responsibility for supporting this family by providing temporary housing, transportation to medical appointments, food, and assistance with finding stable housing.
  • A delinquent car loan note for a McCallum student ($840). Both parents were in the hospital, and the family’s only car was at risk of being repossessed.
  • City of Austin Utilities bill to restore disconnected service to the home of a mother of four McCallum Vertical Team students ($940.59). Her husband, a wage earner, had been recently deported, and she couldn’t afford groceries because she and her eldest child were undocumented and ineligible for food stamps.
  • Initial housing expenses (first month’s rent and security and pet deposits) for homeless McCallum siblings to move into an apartment with family members ($2039.41). Covenant members also assisted this family with furniture, dental care, groceries, clothing and prayer support.

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