LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Many students are still without essential items like coats, jackets, and eyeglasses, according to the La Crosse Public Education Foundation. First News at Nine’s David LaClair reports, the non-profit is looking to change that by raising 400- thousand dollars.

Amber Erickson, Logan Middle School Principal said, “Field trips, haircuts, transportation to important events.”

Erickson knows there are students who struggle with basic daily needs.  

“This individual boy was experiencing some different behaviors and expressing poor self-image. He was sharing with our counselors that he’d never had a haircut before, so what we wanted to do is do something special for him,” said Erickson.

With help from the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, Logan staff was able to make that possible.

“We actually booked him an appointment for this first haircut in a barbershop, and he just had the biggest smile on his face, and it was the neatest thing to see,” said Erickson.

Today the foundation announced a $400,000 fundraising goal to publicly kick off their random acts of kindness, or RAK, Forever Fund. RAK will benefit all students who attend class in the La Crosse School District.

Last year, the foundation raised 300-thousand dollars during the campaign’s so-called “Quiet Phase.”

Dr. Tom Thompson, LPEF RAK Forever Fund Committee Co-Chair said, “That accommodated for about 50 percent of sustainability. If we can get to $400, two-thirds, and just keep moving towards full sustainability as we can during this time.”

Alicia Place, School District of La Crosse Community Services Coordinator said, “There isn’t a criterion or qualification and you don’t need to prove income. It is if a child has a need or a parent or caretaker come forward with a need, we can quickly meet that usually within the same day.”

The more we receive, the closer we are to 100 percent sustainability as a program, and then those other dollars we receive during the year we can use to fortify other programs.

All agree that little kindness can go along way on kids’ learning journeys.

In La Crosse, David LaClair, First News at Nine.

On average, committee chairs say random act of kindness helps a student in need more than 24- hundred times a year. The public education foundation welcomes all donations.