Q&A with Miles for Merry Miracles project manager Teresa Hebert

Natalie Clare

Teresa Hebert Q&A

  1. What is the organization and how long has FC raised money for this charity?
    1. “Miles for Merry Miracles was founded in 2008 by FC sophomore class president Nick Hebert, who at that time was working on his Eagle Scout Project. In 2009, Nick and fellow students Ryan Smith and Kendra Mifflin, who were on the first M4MM leadership board, also served on the inaugural Executive Board of Dance Marathon.”
  2. What fundraisers do you do to raise money?
    1. “Miles for Merry Miracles does not consider itself to be raising money. Instead, it works primarily to partner with Angel Tree Sponsors to provide gifts of clothing, shoes, toys and food to create a miraculous experience to children who might not otherwise receive these blessings. Our youth leadership board is based on an application and interview process. They receive training and have even been successful at writing grants for over $35,000. Those funds have been used to offset the costs to host runs, shopping sprees, dinners, etc. that have served over 7,150 meals, provided over 40,000 non-perishable food items, purchased craft supplies and photo supplies for Santa Pictures at the Christmas dinner, and host other large scale community service projects.”
  3. How much money have you raised in the past?
    1. “Considering the average spent on the Angel Tree gifts and costs associated with the large scale service projects, the value would exceed well over $900,000. Additionally, more than 21,000 volunteer hours have been logged. After this year, Miles for Merry Miracles will have collaborated with the community to provide gifts to nearly 5,000 Angel Tree and Kentucky Refugee Ministries children. We have also provided gifts to children at Haven House, Wayside Christian Ministries, Family Ark (Foster Children)  and provided toys for Norton Children’s Hospital. We have also partnered with other youth led, youth serving non-profits like Makenzie’s Coat Closet where we collected over 1,000 gently used coats We also are partnering with Brianna’s Silly Socks this year.”
  4. What is your goal for this year?
    1. “Our goal is to provides gifts of clothing, shoes, toys, and food to 350 children and their families. Through a partnership with Salvation Army and some of our sponsors, we will also provide about 100 new bikes, one to each of the families we are serving.”
  5. How have you helped the community? What specific stories?
    1. “As a result of a food drive in Dec. 2016 to benefit M4MM families being served, about 8,500 food items were collected. Unfortunately, 3,466 of those items were packs of Ramen Noodles. M4MM youth leaders set out to partner with a girl scout who was working on her Gold Award. Anna Perkins, a then senior at Floyd Central, led us to educate our community that unhealthily food is not what should be donated during a food drive. Good to Grow Green, another youth inspired alliteration, was launched. Good to Grow Green (G2GG) promotes student responsibility, healthy eating and community service by setting up gardens in the classroom. These gardens are not ordinary crops; they are vertical aeroponic gardens provided by the local student leaders who created this nationally-recognized, non-profit project. This earth-friendly approach to gardening uses less water and space than soil gardens, without the use of chemicals like herbicides and pesticides. Plus, we can grow our plants year-round and 30 percent faster. We were fortunate to place in the top 10 of almost 300 projects nationwide and received an all expense paid trip to Chicago to compete for a $10,000 prize. We did not win the top prize in terms of money. We did receive some top notch training from industry leaders. Since our first garden was installed in April of 2017, we have taught about 500 students in 25 NAFCS classrooms about food, nutrition, gardening and philanthropy. There are currently two gardens in Ms. McGowan’s class at Floyd Central. Her FBLA students are learning about branding, presentation skills, cost analysis, research, and development among other business skills.”

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