After noticing some Leander ISD students eating little to nothing on the weekends, Karen launched Student Charities to do something about it – since 2009, the organization has sent over 22,000 backpacks full of food home with students on the free or reduced lunch program.
AUSTIN, Tex. — RecognizeGood: The Foundation will present the 42nd RecognizeGood® Legend award to Karen Faulkner of Student Charities, in a ceremony to take place at Hill Country Bible Church (12124 Ranch Road 620 N, Austin TX 78750), beginning at 1:30 pm on Thursday, September 18, 2014. As part of the award presentation, Student Charities will receive a $1,000 pay-it-forward donation from RecognizeGood in Karen’s name.
In 2009 Karen, registrar at Wiley Middle School, saw that several children in her school district were eating little to nothing on the weekends, and decided to do something about it. She began to organize and gather food to be sent home in backpacks to children on the school’s free and reduced lunch program, starting small with just a handful of backpacks. Over the past five years, the program has blossomed into what is now called Student Charities – and has sent home over 22,000 backpacks.
Student Charities became an official 501(c)3 organization in 2013, after Karen wrote the by-laws and pushed through the long tax status application process without letting the backpack program miss a beat. Along with the backpacks, the group sends home Holiday Food Boxes containing enough food to feed a family of four for the two-week holiday break, as well as Nurse Care Packages containing healthy snacks for nurses on 16 different campuses to give out to hungry students. Along with Student Charities, Karen has also been active with PTA boards, Band Boosters, Saint Thomas More Church, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, and other organizations.
As a 2014 Legend, Karen is now eligible to participate in RecognizeGood’s Say Thanks Austin campaign, an annual event which presents the Austin area with a unique opportunity to say “thank you” to a group of remarkable individuals who contribute their time and talents to our community. The participant with the most Thank You votes receives a pay-it-forward donation of $10,000 to the nonprofit of their choice.