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Settle the Debt Kicks Off Holiday Fundraising Efforts

| December 2, 2019 | 0 Comments | Community, Education

Adelle Settle with her almost 5-year-old daughter.

Gainesville, VA:  Settle the Debt, a new 501(c) (3) organization, announces their first major fundraising effort upon being designated an official tax exempt non-profit today.

What began as a campaign launched by local parent Adelle Settle to pay down school lunch debt in Prince William County, Virginia schools (PWCS) has become a formal non-profit. This will allow Settle the Debt to raise more money to pay down lunch debt, and bring greater awareness to the problems of lunch debt and lunch shaming in public schools.

Settle the Debt hopes to expand geographically in time, and has partnered with Kingstowne Dental Specialists in Alexandria, VA to help neighboring schools in need.

As recently as last week, a school counselor reached out to Settle the Debt asking to help a child who was later approved for free lunch, but had a $20.50 balance on their account from prior to being approved. The family was worried about how to resolve this bill.

Even in a seemingly wealthy county, over 40% of PWCS students receive free or reduced cost meals. Many families in PWCS earn just over the limit for free or reduced meals, and have nowhere to turn for assistance. While the schools have pledged to always feed the child, the debt can be stressful to families in need, and ultimately falls to the schools to cover if families are unable to pay.

Settle the Debt’s goal is to raise over $30,000 this holiday season to pay down the lunch debt of at least 20 Prince William County elementary, middle and high schools. The plan is to go from school to school, paying off negative lunch balances so students and their families can celebrate the holidays with one less burden to worry about.

Local donors and businesses have already stepped up and pledged $18,000 towards this effort. Settle the Debt is looking for additional business and community partnerships to pay off debt at individual schools. Those interested should contact Adelle Settle at adelle@settlethedebt.org. Checks can be made payable to “Settle the Debt” and mailed to 7204 Forkland Way, Gainesville, VA, 20155, and donations can be made online at www.settlethedebt.org.

Settle the Debt has a large Social Media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Followers will receive frequent updates on the status of our fundraising efforts, and the big delivery day on December 18th!

About Settle the Debt: Settle the Debt started in April 2017 by Adelle Settle as a campaign to pay off the lunch debt of schools in Prince William County, VA.  To date, Settle the Debt has paid off approximately $50,000 of lunch debt for county schools, and worked with Delegate Danica Roem (HD-13) to introduce legislation to eliminate lunch shaming in Virginia schools.  As a non-profit organization, Settle the Debt hopes to pay off more lunch debt and ultimately eliminate lunch shaming in Virginia schools.

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