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Monarch School

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San Diego Public School Exclusively for Homeless Children Calls for Gift Card and In-Kind Donations for Student Holiday Event

Upcoming Celebration to Provide Gifts and Basic Necessities to Monarch School Students.

San Diego, CA, December 07, 2011 --( Monarch School, the San Diego K-12 public school dedicated to educating local youth impacted by homelessness, is asking the community for donations leading up to its annual holiday celebration. The festive event, to be held Thursday, Dec. 22, will include food, games, dancing and most importantly, “shopping.” Each of Monarch’s 150 students will have the chance to “shop” in a room of donated new clothing, shoes, small electronics, toys and more. Additionally, Monarch aims to provide each child with gift cards to retailers like Target and Ralphs so that the student can buy necessities for themselves through the holiday break while the school is closed for a week.

To make this possible, Monarch School is asking for donations from the community to help students, typically dependent on the school for most meals and basic provisions, enjoy a little holiday cheer. Gift cards are requested in $10, $25 and $50 increments and in-kind donations should be in new condition. A full list of requested items and directions for how to donate can be found at Monarch’s Wish List.

“The holidays can be a strain on any family, but it’s especially hard for those who are homeless,” said Jim McMillan, president of the Monarch School Board of Directors. “Many of our students don’t receive gifts outside of what Monarch School can provide. It’s why we try our best to make sure each child experiences the joy of the holidays and that they have resources to get food and basic supplies while the school is on break.”

Monarch students and their families, who most often live in shelters, a car or in temporary situations like a motel, rely on the school year round for two to three meals daily and a warm place for children to be during the day while shelters are not open. Monarch School is closed only eight days a year for major holidays, including the week of Christmas, and works to supply each student with resources to help them through these times.

Before the holiday break this year, all Monarch students will receive tickets to go “shopping,” and have had the opportunity to earn extra tickets based on good behavior, attendance and grades. At the celebration event, students will use these tickets to “purchase” the donated items.

Continued McMillan, “Whether you’re making a personal donation or donating on behalf of someone on your gift list, making these children’s holidays a little brighter is the best present of all. With the generous support of the community, Monarch students will be able to forget about their hardships for at least a little while this holiday season and take time to celebrate together.”

Monarch School, the only K-12 school of its kind in the United States, is a public school exclusively for children impacted by homelessness. It operates through a unique partnership with the San Diego public school system and a nonprofit arm that supplements the education with additional resources, counseling and opportunities, eliminating barriers to a quality education and providing items such as food, hygiene kits, clothing, school supplies and more. For additional information about Monarch School and opportunities to donate or volunteer, visit or join in the conversation at or

About Monarch School:
Founded in 1988, Monarch School, located in downtown San Diego, is a public K-12 school exclusively for students who are at-risk and impacted by homelessness. Monarch School represents a unique public-private partnership between the San Diego County Office of Education and the Monarch School Project, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Today, 150 students between the ages of 4 and 19 are enrolled. Monarch School’s committed team of educators, support staff and volunteers is dedicated to providing homeless and at-risk children with an accredited education while caring for their basic needs. Monarch School will break ground on its new campus in downtown San Diego in early 2012. For more information, visit or call (619) 237-7678.

Contact Information
Monarch School
Caroline Callaway
(949) 218-5454

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