Support Whittier Families in Urgent Need

Whittier International Elementary School is located in South Minneapolis, in the vibrant and diverse Whittier neighborhood. Many of our families are experiencing financial hardships, some of them very significantly. The global pandemic has resulted in job loss. The damage along the Lake Street corridor and other business areas has compounded the situation; our families rely on these shops for their basic necessities, but so many of those shops are now gone altogether or closed either short or long-term. Whittier families also work in or own some of these businesses which has resulted in additional job and economic losses.

LET’S JOIN TOGETHER TO HELP FAMILIES THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME! Whittier families, friends, and supporters have been asking how they can help and lift up the Whittier community that need it most. Financial assistance will be put to good use to help with groceries, rent, utilities, phone bills, and other necessities. The school staff are connected with families and aware of their needs during this time; staff will help connect families with these funds.

All monies will go directly to Whittier families—please consider donating if you are able!


Who are the Whittier International families? The school serves a community that is 80% low-income, 80% children of color, and 36% English language learners. We have a number of immigrant/refugee families. We pride ourselves on our diverse set of families and our strong community.

Who are the organizers? We are Whittier parents. We have been volunteers at the school for many years and have previously served on the PTA board. We have consulted with both the school and the PTA in setting up this page. Due to policy and legal restrictions, neither group can do this type of direct fundraising, so we wanted to create a way for our community to get the help it needs. We will work directly with school staff to identify families in need and respond to financial requests.

How will funds be managed and spent? Funds are deposited into a dedicated bank account set up solely for this purpose. For evaluating the need and for record-keeping, families fill out a short application for emergency assistance. They indicate what type of need, how much the need is, and how quickly help is needed. Eligible expense categories are housing, food/toiletries, phone/internet, and transportation. To ensure funds go to the intended recipients, school staff helps us by verifying the requester as a Whittier school family and assisting with delivery of funds when needed.


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  • Claire Leslie Johnson 
    • $160 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5,000 
    • 2 mos
  • brian balleria 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Florence Taitel 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Benjamin Hulse 
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
See all

Fundraising team (3)

Erin Sjoquist 
Raised $4,810 from 70 donations
Minneapolis, MN
Jennifer Abbey 
Team member
Raised $3,270 from 34 donations
Emily Fitzgerald 
Team member
Raised $1,710 from 13 donations
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