Birdies Fore Love Impact: AchieveMpls
Since the Birdies Fore Love program started 10 years ago, RSM has supported hundreds of charities in local communities across the United States. In 2018 alone, the program raised over $2.8 million for more than 70 charities. In a series of articles, we’ll learn more about a few of these deserving charitable organizations to better understand the impact Birdies Fore Love has on the communities where our people live and work.
AchieveMpls is a non-profit organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota that partners with Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), and advocates for public education resources and opportunities while inspiring the local community to get involved. Wellstone International High School, Elizabeth Hall International School and Richard R. Green Central Elementary School are just three of more than 50 schools partnered with AchieveMpls.
For the last three years, our Minneapolis office has partnered with AchieveMpls, selecting a new MPS school each year, and supporting the school through Birdies Fore Love. But it’s not just dollars being put to work at these schools – more than 200 employees team up each year for our annual Volunteer Day (which is being expanded in 2019 to Volunteer Week) to support the schools with their time, talent and treasures.
In 2016, the Minneapolis office first supported AchieveMpls when they partnered with Richard R. Green Central Elementary School, and donated more than $50,000 to the school for new rugs and materials for every classroom. “Our students sit down on comfortable rugs every day and have the materials they need to learn, our families attend our events more often and our teachers feel supported during the long days of conferences,” said Beatriz DeSantiago-Fjelstad, assistant principal at Green Central Elementary. For Volunteer Day, employees spent 1,045 hours supporting the school by helping clean and paint classrooms and common areas, planting and new landscaping and getting the school ready to welcome students at the beginning of school year.
In 2017, the office supported Elizabeth Hall International School, raising more than $42,000, and volunteering over 1,600 hours at the school on Volunteer Day. The funds were used for several large-scale projects: securing the school’s playground, building a community garden, installing two basketball hoops, painting the inside of the building, making upgrades to the media center and lunch room, and purchasing new supplies for students in the classrooms. “The funding has helped our school become a better place of learning and teaching,” said Principal Pau Vue, who served as principal of Elizabeth Hall International School during this project. “ Our families and the community have noticed the positive differences and tell us how grateful they are to have such a beautiful school. The Birdies Fore Love Program has greatly benefited our students by enhancing the learning environment and helping our school change our narrative to become a world-class place of learning.”
In 2018, the Minneapolis office through Birdies Fore Love, supported the high school by donating over 1,800 hours and more than $55,000 for Wellstone International High School, the New Families Center, early childhood screening and early childhood special education. Racially and culturally inclusive books, educational games and toys, vision screening service and access to glasses for children ages 3-5, experiential learning support – these are just a few examples of how the Minneapolis Birdies Fore Love funds are being put to work at the Wilder Complex and Wellstone International High School. “We believe that if we create an environment where they can pursue their education and see and feel success, then the future for them and their children will be that much better,” said Dr. Aimee Fearing, principal of Wellstone International High School.
Over the last three years, nearly $150,000 and 4,500+ hours have been donated by Minneapolis employees and RSM owners who truly believe in giving back to the communities in which they live and work. But it’s not over yet! In 2019, the office plans to support AchieveMpls again by partnering with Anishinabe Academy and the Anne Sullivan School. Stay tuned to see all that the employees of Minneapolis are able to do for these schools!