Making a Difference One Child at a Time
To Whom It May Concern:
The Rolphie Fund is a grass roots entity created after the tragic accident that took the life of my husband, Rolph M. Karker; a long time volunteer, Santa and advocate for children of economic need within our community of Schoharie County. In continuation of Rolph's commitment to making a difference with children, we created a 501 C 3 not for profit fund recognized through the NYS Education System, effectively finding an avenue to reach deep within our school systems to help those children in need.
In knowing that the teachers, staff, and individuals within a school were the true source of identifying the children who might best benefit from our fundraiser, we asked each Superintendent to select an advocate from their respective school to implement the dollars raised. Our loosely based criteria focused on the donations directly reaching a child of economic need, allowing for them; to not stand out because they did not have financial means. Some schools chose guidance counselors; others chose nurses, and social workers to implement our vision of contributing to these special children, who just need an equal opportunity of belonging.
Though at first we did not know how our fund would be accepted and grow, we knew that with hard work and dedication we could make that difference in a child's life. The Rolphie Fund to date has reached so many children and put over $200,000 into the school systems to help one child at a time. Indeed the heartfelt stories shared from each school advocate vary, there is a consistent resonating theme of the hope that our donations allow.
For example; a young girl talented with her photography, was chosen to participate in an adult only competition. The feelings of triumph from that selection, as the only student to be asked to take part, soon fell to despair; when her parents had to explain they did not have the financial means to pay for the required professional framing of her photograph. The school advocate recognized the need and The Rolphie Fund paid the $200.00 which allowed her entrance and sequential win of the competition. What that donation allowed was her hope for a better future, with the path to her talent not denied due to financial hardship.
Another heart wrenching illustration of our funds is seen through a young boy stricken with incurable cancer, and his request to his parents for more social time with his classmates. Moreover was the parent's anguish that they did not have a way to allow that wish to fulfillment. The school advocate recognized the burden, not only financially but mentally on this family and created a pizza party every Friday night for five weeks through The Rolphie Fund. The family, this beautiful young boy, his peers, and a community shared in this ability to find his request come to a realization, letting smiles replace the pervading sadness. There were many feelings of comfort shown at his funeral, with the power point playing in the back ground showing the laughter of those parties, and the love found within his too short life.
Although these are but two of so many diverse ways we create avenues of help through our fund, the children continually receive support that might seem easy to some and so hard for others. Backpacks, school supplies, sneakers, warm boots, eyeglasses, caps and gowns at graduation, application fees for the college of choice, summer school tuition, medications, and creating Christmas within their family, are but just a small sample of such a large resource of needs being fulfilled.
It is with profound gratitude from my family, our committee, and to a community of caring individuals who embrace our fund and continue Rolph's legacy of, Making a Difference One Child at a Time.
Thank you for listening through these words about our fund and vision of giving 'hope' to these beautiful children representing our future.
Linda L. Karker