HH Student & Family Support

Congratulations on your class reunion this year. What an exciting time to reflect on the past as one looks to the future. Highland High School's long tradition of school pride and returning to those principles learned in youth are clearly in full force. Today, Highland has over 700 students that live at or below the poverty line. There are approximately 385 refugees that call Highland their new home. In fact, there are 52 languages spoken within Highland's walls. Sadly, there are 60 children experiencing homelessness attending Highland. Highland is looking to our past as we try to help our future. 
Highland's pantry has grown over the years and serves hundreds of students and their families each month. We started picking up food about nine years ago from Fresh Market (now Macey's). Highland estimates 1 in 5 students live in food-insecure households. That means that 20% of our students may not have consistent access to enough food. The caring staff at Highland worries that students do not have enough food over the weekend. We try to provide food for the weekends for our most vulnerable children. In fact, twice a week Highland volunteers drop off food to low-income apartments. Highland is very appreciative of a supportive community and the many food and hygiene drives that take place on our students' behalf. We have a great relationship with The Utah Food Bank.  
Your class can help the students at Highland by donating gift cards. Gift cards play a vital role in providing basic needs for our most vulnerable children. We give teens cards for food, school supplies, basic household items, medical needs, shoes, and many other needs. Any amount is awesome! Walmart or Smith's seems to work well.
School supplies are another critical need. Pencils, composition notebooks, pens, spiral notebooks, highlighters, flashcards, backpacks, Chromebooks and other class materials. We cannot tell students to do their homework if we cannot provide the tools they need to complete their homework, including Chromebooks.
Highland encourages all students to participate in school activities. The State of Utah covers the cost of all students on fee-waivers for school related activities, including uniforms, but items such as running shoes, baseball gloves, lacrosse sticks, cleats, etc. are not covered creating barriers for our impoverished children.  Highland tries to support children in sports, activities, and classroom needs. Studies show students that are involved in school sports, government, and clubs have higher grades and are less likely to get into trouble.  Family Support tries to break down these barriers by providing opportunities for every student at Highland. 
Family Support provides food and snacks to students as they travel to school events. Often, students come to school at 8:00 in the morning and do not return from a sporting event until 8:00 in the evening. Teenagers require a lot of food! 
Highland also has a Clothes Shop where students can come shop for clothing. Of course, it is all free. We give kids gym clothes, coats, shoes, prom dresses, etc.
Through the generous donations of businesses, the community and alumni, Highland High Family Support sponsored Highland's first free prom in 2022. Chick-fil-A fed over 1,300 students, we arranged for transportation and free pictures. This is a tradition we would love to continue but can only do so through the generosity of donors.   Highland gave Thanksgiving dinners for 75 families.  We collected and delivered the meals to our family's homes. 
Last year, Family Support, with the help of the community, held a fun run to raise funds for our music department. We were able to buy sheet music for our aspiring musicians. 
Highland High Family Support also provided Christmas to 70 families through our Sub for Santa program. Our children experiencing homelessness received lovely Holiday gifts, including gift cards, backpacks, sweatshirts and much more. Our refugees welcomed gift cards that helped their families through December.   
We are asking Highland High School to be a part of your class reunion this year as a charity component. In fact, the mighty class of 1972 has raised the bar by donating $52,000 at their reunion last year. With that donation we have purchased athletic gear, food, school supplies, mattresses and many, many other necessary items to help our Ram Family! The need, however, is constant.
Highland High Family Support is a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible- gift in kind and monetarily. All checks and cash can be dropped to Highland's Treasurer. Checks can be mailed to Highland High c/o Mindy Smith. Of course, we will provide a receipt of all donations.  All electronic donations go directly to Highland High Family Support.  
Highland High School is an impoverished school trying to educate and create opportunities and basic resources for all students. We truly appreciate you considering helping Highland as part of your class reunion as the past tries to care for our Ram Fam. We are here to help you in any way with technology, Dean Collette's video, pictures, and any other needs you may have.
Please feel free to reach out to me. We appreciate your kindness!
Mindy Smith 
Highland High School Family Support 

To donate cash, use the camera on your smartphone to open the QR code site. When prompted, click on the box, "Make this gift on behalf of an organization" - in the Organization Name box, key "Class of 1973."


Dean Collette YouTube Video on this cause