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Tuscaloosa County School System Launches neighborhood bridges

TCSS Launches Site To Address Needs Of Students Outside Classroom

Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa County gives subscribers the opportunity to donate to provide for students in need.

By Ryan Phillips, Patch StaffFeb 12, 2021 11:42 am CT | Updated Feb 12, 2021 11:45 am CTReply

TUSCALOOSA, AL — The Tuscaloosa County School System on Friday announced the launch of a collaborative nonprofit — Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa County — that seeks to connect children and families in need with community resources. Community members will have the ability to donate to meet the needs posted on a website, which will be facilitated by the school district.

Counselors at each TCSS school are now considered Neighborhood Bridges “advocates," with TCSS counselors seeking out the needs of students, such as clothing or shoes, and posting the need on the Neighborhood Bridges website. The needs will remain anonymous and no names or specific schools are listed.

The initiative is made possible by the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation, the Tuscaloosa County Commission, Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority (PARA), and the Tuscaloosa County School System.

Tuscaloosa Education Foundation Executive Director Terri Boman urged the community to help make Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa County a success through helping students in need.

“We are on the brink of Valentine’s Day and what better way to show your compassion, love and kindness than meeting a need for a Tuscaloosa County student,” Boman said. “The crowd-funded platform is only as good as the advocates that share the information, so we need your help. Please help us advocate for our children and share the Neighborhood Bridges site with all of your friends, civic organizations, church affiliations, family and work friends.”

Neighborhood Bridges, founded in Ohio in 2017 by Rick Bannister, aims to respond to poverty in suburban and rural America. Neighborhood Bridges has since grown to communities in both Ohio and Alabama, using technology and social media to "bridge" the gap.

Subscribers can see needs posted to the Neighborhood Bridges website, which launched on Friday.

TCSS says when a subscriber wishes to meet a need, they can click “I Can Help" and purchase a new item to meet the need, which is taken to one of four designated drop-off sites: TCSS Central Office in Downtown Tuscaloosa, the PARA Bobby Miller Activity Center, the PARA Faucett Brothers Activity Center, or the PARA Jerry Tingle Activity Center. Neighborhood Bridges will then facilitate pickup of the item and deliver it to the school.

Retired educator and school counselor Connie Coleman is serving as Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa County area director and will work to grow the network of subscribers, while also managing the logistics to see the needs met.

Neighborhood Bridges Tuscaloosa County was established through funding and support from the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation and Tuscaloosa County Commission. PARA will also be providing drop-off locations across Tuscaloosa County.

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