MACares is a group of committed parents, staff, and community members who provide financial support to the entire McCallum HS vertical team, working with campus Licensed Mental Health Professionals (LMHP) and counselors. The campuses under MACares support are McCallum High School, Kealing and Lamar Middle Schools, and Blackshear, Brentwood, Campbell, Gullett, Highland Park, Lee, Maplewood, Oak Springs, Reilly, Ridgetop, and Oak Springs Elementary Schools.
Families in this vertical team can receive assistance in the form of emergency rent or utility payments, bus passes, gas cards, grocery cards, and holiday presents via our annual Mitten Tree. Individual students at these schools are able to receive assistance in the form of snacks throughout the day, mental health and mindfulness supplies, dorm room supplies for graduating seniors in need, and individual support as needed for accessing other community resources.
McCallum is socioeconomically and racially diverse, proudly creating an environment of cultural inclusivity and respect for all. More than 20% of students come from homes identified as being economically disadvantaged, and 4 of the schools in the Mac 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 “double up” with other families. With community support, MACares is able to help these students and families move from a crisis situation to stability.
In recent years, the MACares program has also paid Advanced Placement test fees for students unable to afford these exams otherwise, helping them receive college credit; sponsored 50 families in a Mitten Tree in 2022 so that their children could have holiday presents, doubling the number of families supported in 2021; and provided weekly after-school snacks and meals for students enrolled in the Twilight Credit Recovery program.
If You Need Help or Know Someone Who Needs Help
Contact your school’s Licensed Mental Health Professional at your home campus. They will guide you through the process of applying for assistance from MACares. Since each family may only be helped by MACares one time, the LMHPs will work with your family to connect you with other community resources, as well.
How to Help
There are many ways to support MACares and the students and families in need at McCallum. Contact the MACares coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about joining or supporting MACares.
1. Donate non-perishable snacks directly to the school for students, attn: MACares
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, and Walmart, which can be delivered directly to McCallum, attn: MACares
4. Attend the annual fundraiser event at Ten Thousand Villages, usually held in early December. Details can be found on the MACares Facebook page.
5. “Adopt-a-Senior” to assist with dorm room shopping for graduating seniors in need. Information will be sent out for this program in April. Contact your LMHP.
6. Donate gently used formalwear and accessories to the McCallum Prom Swap & Shop each spring. The library is transformed into a “store” where any student can pick out dresses, suits and accessories for any formal event at no charge!
7. Sign up to bring a meal or snacks to the after-school Twilight Credit Recovery program by contacting the MACares team at email@example.com
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
Payment of $268.70 for maintenance fees so a family could move to safer housing
Payment of $602.72 in utilities to help a family avoid losing heat and electricity the week before Christmas
Payment of $637.73 to cover rent while a single parent recovered from surgery
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