Every child deserves equal access to the proper tools for school, and with your help, we can make it happen.
In 2017 Cathy Sitarz met a new client, Julie Frentz, an educator. Julie shared with Cathy about the school she was teaching at and the many needs of her students. Julie mentioned that many of her families were living paycheck to paycheck and unable to provide basic school supplies for their children.
Cathy asked Julie to lunch to talk more about the children, teachers and schools and their needs. Cathy wanted to help. The outcome of that first meeting became the foundation’s first school supply drive. Over 600 school supplies were collected and donated to one school.
After that first drive, Cathy and Julie knew they had to keep doing something to help students, teacher and schools. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 annual school supply drives were held. Each year the number of items donated to schools and families grew. After four years, over 5,000 items have been donated to 12 schools!
With the help of others’ generous hearts, Cathy, her husband Brian and Julie founded the Helping Children Succeed in School Foundation (HCSS Foundation) in 2022.
The foundation’s mission is to continue helping children, parents, teachers and schools through the Valley by providing necessary school supplies and items needed for all to succeed.
Help students, parents, teachers, and schools by collecting backpacks, school supplies, and items most needed for all to succeed.
The 5th Annual School Supply Drive was held during the months of June and July. The school supply drive began on June 15th with a kick-off event celebrating the establishment of the Helping Children Succeed in School (HCSS) Foundation. The generous and giving supporters of our previous school supply drives showed up and supported! We were also excited to gain new supporters at this event. Our kick-off event brought in cash donations and school supplies. Throughout June and July, we continued to receive donations of school supplies and cash. Cash donations were used to purchase items we knew schools were asking for that we did not receive in donations. A few of these items were head phones, ear buds and 3 ring binders. We were also excited to be present at the Pendergast Elementary School Kick-Off Event. More donations were received and we were able to give away 18 prizes to teachers!
We are excited and proud to share that over 5,000 items were collected! Once again, the generosity of the loyal supporters of the school drive came through! We were able to deliver 2 boxes and 2 garbage bags of supplies to every one of the 12 schools in the Pendergast Elementary School District. We also gave a total of 8 boxes of supplies and personal care items to the Pendergast Family Resource Center and McKinney-Vento Program. These programs support families who are in transition or experiencing homelessness. Through your generosity, we were also able to give supplies to the Avondale Elementary School District. We are happy to add the Avondale Elementary School District to our list of schools we will support.
Thank you to the our amazing supporters who have bought school supplies to donate to us or have given us cash donations. Because of you, we are able to help students be and feel successful in school because they have the supplies needed to be learners.
Cathy & Brian Sitarz, Founders
Brian and Cathy moved to Arizona 30 years ago from Michigan. They have 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Cathy has had a career in real estate since 2005 as an Associate Broker and aligns with Realty One Group. Brian has had a career in sales as a Regional Sales Manager that takes him to various cities on the west coast. He also works part time in real estate with Cathy. Helping Children Succeed in School Foundation is an opportunity for them to give back to the community that has supported them for many years.
Julie Frentz, Founder
Julie Frentz is a 41 year educator, recently retired. She has served as a leader, teacher and advocate to children and their families in 5 different states. She is married and lives in the West Valley close to her 2 adult children, their spouses and a grandson. The HCSS Foundation gives Julie an opportunity to continue her service to children, families and schools.