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Happy 1st Birthday!

Yep, we’re officially one year old!! First birthdays are a big deal to moms. We’ve survived a lot of sleepless nights, worries over ailments, fretted over meeting developmental milestones, and ridden a roller coaster of hormones. Let’s face it, first birthdays are just as much about mom as they are about baby! Similarly, indulge me while I brag about Start 1 Spark’s first year!

COVID-19 protocols at the school gave us a bit of a slow start, especially in our ability to support athletics. However, the music department took a chance and requested 14 instruments - 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 4 euphoniums, and 2 alto saxophones; all of which were fulfilled. After spring break, the flood gates opened and the athletic department and drama club were busy! We fulfilled personal equipment needs for the boys’ track team, baseball, softball, and girls’ soccer. We launched a “Fuel for Fun” snack campaign that supplied 570 snack kits to nourish student athletes on game days. Additionally, we designed and printed 200 Playbills and 300 music programs giving recognition to the cast and crew and all music students for their hard work and dedication to their craft. In total, we supported 657 students!

With the unwavering support of our marketing team, we’ve developed a website to showcase how we are fulfilling our mission through student testimonials and the importance of our mission with monthly blogs. We’ve launched Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages and published a monthly newsletter to our donors and supporters highlighting their impact.

Our work supporting students has not gone unnoticed either. During the Henrico County School Board meeting on April 21st, Start 1 Spark was recognized as a valuable community partner with John Rolfe Middle School. Five days later, the Richmond Times Dispatch ran our Op-Ed on how access to school extracurriculars builds stronger school communities and prevents youth violence.

But the most important part is the impact we have made with students and families. From the dad who told me about the transformation in his son to a calmer young man after joining the music program to the mom who said the baseball team played like a team after receiving new pants, hats, and jerseys. To the students themselves who said their fellow drama club members are now like family, and the music student who can pursue the dream of a scholarship.

I could not be prouder or more excited about the impact Start 1 Spark has made on students in just one year. Thank you for being a part of this journey and supporting our community. With each donation, YOU light a ‘spark’ and OUR future gets brighter!

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