Building a Better RPS incorporated as a non-stock corporation in May of 2016.
Our status as a registered 501 (c)(3) was approved August 29, 2016.
Our mission is simple; to staff with volunteer labor and fund projects/materials the benefits of which are limited solely to Richmond Public School facilities, teachers/staff & students.
We had an exciting first year and staffed, funded, and organized projects in roughly 35 of Richmond Public School’s 47 facilities! We provided over $100,000 in labor and cash assistance and hope to double that number in our 2017-2018 fundraising and volunteer effort! One of our favorite recent projects was two fold; first, we provided volunteers and financially supported a HandsOn Greater Richmond event to paint murals on canvass on behalf of The REAL school. When we arrived, we discovered the hallway walls were damaged and in need of new paint so went back with a contractor to repair drywall and with a crew of 13 volunteers we were able to repaint walls and provide a nice clean backdrop for all the beautiful murals painted by volunteers. The faculty and staff at The REAL School were thrilled with the results and incredibly appreciative; our work is incredibly rewarding!
We started our efforts last summer with a landscaping and fix-up blitz on all RPS High Schools and specialty schools with hundreds of volunteers assisting with cleaning, weeding, mulching, trimming shrubs, mowing lawns, and even planting flowers on a couple of occasions. We were also able to begin upgrading schools to LED lighting and replace damaged ceiling tiles. We subsequently organized similar events at middle and elementary schools. With the help of local restaurants, breweries, and small businesses we were able to raise about $20,000 in cash last summer which allowed us to pay for all of the needed materials for our projects, from tools to mulch, paint, LED bulbs, and cleaning and painting supplies. We continue to self fund with a variety of supporters, from local restaurants and micro breweries, to coffee roasters, churches, others small businesses and individuals opening their hearts to our efforts with cash donations.
We are finishing our 2017 summer projects with more landscaping projects at RPS facilities and continue, with facilities management, HandsOn Greater Richmond, and folks inside schools to identify upcoming needs/projects and dates and are anticipating another busy fall/winter. We are profoundly grateful for the incredible support we’ve had from the greater Richmond community with corporate groups like Capital One and Richmond Association of Realtors repeatedly joining and assisting with funding as well as groups like the RVA/VCU sports community bringing volunteers from Richmond Kickers, VCU Women’s Basketball and VCU Men’s Rugby. We’ve partnered with many church groups, parents, and an army of individuals grateful to make a difference for our city and our kids!
Our current efforts include identifying groups who would like to sponsor schools for a year at a time and for multiple years, providing volunteers on a more regular basis for projects identified by schools and facilities management.
We look forward to another successful year and hope you will join us in our efforts to #SupportRPS!
To find out how you can help click here!