About Us

OUR STORY

Our mission: Enhancing Lives and Empowering Futures in Benton County.
Our vision: We envision a world where every family has hope at Christmas and an opportunity for a bright future.

Sharing & Caring of Benton County works to serve Benton County’s youth in three core areas: our Christmas program, scholarships to local high school students and back-to-school assistance for families in need.

Our Christmas program

Becoming our own 501c3 in 2007, Sharing & Caring of Benton County works to brighten the holidays of local children by lending a helping hand to their families in need during the holiday season. The program serves children, through the help of sponsors, to provide clothing, shoes, toys, a food box, essential household goods and special needs. Each child who is served through our program is shopped for individually.

The generosity of our community helped us sponsor 2,860 children in 2020! That accounts for over 1,050 families in Benton County.

Every year, families in the Sharing & Caring Christmas program receive their gifts and basic necessities at what we warmly refer to as ‘Distribution Day’. A day where the culmination of our efforts, over the course of the year, are realized in the faces of our families. Moms thrilled that their children will experience the joy of Christmas, dads profusely thanking for the help during a difficult time. Check out the video to see the magic of a community coming together!

“Some 16 million American children — 22 percent — live in poverty, a factor that increases their chances of academic struggles, social and behavioral problems, and depression.

Yet not all poor children are doomed to bad outcomes. Some survive and flourish despite hardships. Why? As a researcher who worked at the Yale Child Study Center from 1992 to 2005, Valerie Maholmes, PhD, suggests that poor children who succeed have a factor in common: hope.”

Stacy Lu, American Psychological Association, November 2014, Vol 45, No. 10

Chef Phil Dreshfield (left) and Sharing & Caring Executive Director, Sarah Semrow (right) pose with igniteCAPS and Brightwater student, Anna Harrison in celebration of her acceptance into the most prestigious and competitive culinary school in the nation- the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Anna was a two-year recipient of Sharing & Caring’s Irene Medrano Scholarship Fund and a first generation higher education student.

Our scholarship program · Irene Medrano Scholarship Fund

If you’ve heard of or been involved with Sharing & Caring, you likely know the name Irene! Irene Medrano served as the Executive Director of the program from 2002-2007 when the program was under the Boys & Girls Club umbrella and then from 2007-the first part of 2018 after the program became it’s own 501c3. It is her vision, heart and fiery passion for Benton County’s youth that has fueled the growth of Sharing & Caring to include a scholarship fund.

Since 2015, Sharing & Caring has been funding scholarships for high school students to earn college credit or professional training to aid them in obtaining employment directly out of high school. It is our goal to ensure every child in Benton County, no matter their background or financial limitation, have access to education and opportunity. With the support of this community, we were able to provide scholarships for 422 students in 2020!

Our Back-to-School Program 

In partnership with MARS, Sharing & Caring has been supporting Benton County families and schools during Back-to-School season since 2013. What started as purchasing school supplies to distribute to the neediest of schools has blossomed! In 2020, we were able to fill 400 backpacks with school supplies for K-12 students.

 

Donate Today to Help a Child or Family in Need