Friends of McCallum Students

Friends of McCallum Students (FMS) is a group of committed parents who provide support to Mac’s Social Service Specialist, Brooke Anderson, and the students and families she serves. These students include those attending the elementary and middle schools that feed into Mac. Mrs. Anderson identifies the students’ needs and, when appropriate, seeks assistance from FMS. Students’ needs may include Cap Metro bus passes, referrals to the Assistance League of Austin’s Operation School Bell and Teen Outfitters Project for clothing, nutritious snacks and grocery gift cards, assistance during final exams and the holidays, emergency financial assistance, and individual support as needed for accessing other community resources.

McCallum is socioeconomically and racially diverse. Nearly one-third of students are from low-income families and eligible for the National School Lunch Program. 53% of the student population is of a race/ethnicity other than white, and 4% are English language learners. Six of the schools in the Mac vertical team are Title 1 schools.

In addition to the challenges and pressures facing all teens, some students at Mac also are faced with the stress of living on their own without the support of family because either they’re either legally emancipated or their parents are unable to care for them. Some students and their families live in shelters and other temporary housing, while still others need extra support because they’ve lost a parent or other close family member, or are otherwise in a crisis situation.

See our brochure and toolkit.

If You Need Help or Know Someone Who Needs Help

Contact Brooke Anderson, LCSW, by email (brooke.anderson@austinisd.org), phone [office (512) 414-7516, cell (512) 710-6833] or text [(512) 710-6833)].

How to Help

Check out FMS’s SignUp Genius, which is updated regularly. Donate to the emergency financial assistance fund, which provides one-time support to families who are in crisis and cannot afford basic needs, such as rent, utilities and medical bills. Monetary donations may be made online or in the form of a check made payable to McCallum High School PTSA (please include Friends of McCallum Students on the memo line). Mailing address is PTSA, McCallum High School, 5600 Sunshine Drive, Austin, TX 78756, Attn:  Brooke Anderson. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Donate Online

In addition to our individual donors, FMS would like to thank the following businesses, organizations and churches:

Prom Swap & Free Shop a Success!

Thank you to the local community for the many donations of dresses, tuxedos, handbags, shoes, ties and jewelry. Because of your support, our students are ready for prom! And not just at McCallum – remaining items were donated to LifeWorks, the Rosedale School and Crockett High School. A special shout out to Top Drawer Thrift, Westbank Cleaners (Jefferson St.), Starbrite Cleaners (Burnet R.), and Austin Junior Forum for helping to make this event so successful.

McCallum’s NHS Raises More Than $600 for FMS

The McCallum National Honor Society’s recent coin collection drive raised $618 for Friends of McCallum Students! Thanks to NHS and to the students and staff who donated their change to benefit students at Mac and its feeder schools.

Ten Thousand Villages 2016 Fundraiser

FMS again hosted a successful Benefit Shopping Night at Ten Thousand Villages on December 1, 2016 – raising more than $1,350 and awareness about the needs of students and families FMS supports! Thank you to the businesses and in-kind donors who helped to make the event so successful. Thanks also to Jake and Emily Farr; McCallum Orchestra students Adrian Jackson, Ciana Rosenblad, Matthew Weinberg and Mitchell Wright; and the Maplewood Elementary School Ukulele Choir for making the evening even more festive with their musical performances!

Pinthouse Pizza Charity Brew – We Did It!

FMS SignOn September 21, FMS supporters ate, drank and socialized while raising money for a great cause! We made $4,000 from Pinthouse sales alone—one of the most successful Pinthouse fundraisers ever. We still have a few tickets available for the Oct. 16 Latin-themed house party (6:00 – 8:30 pm). Don’t miss your chance at great food, drinks and live music in a casual, intimate setting! Contact Amy Warr to purchase tickets at awarr@adjtlaw.com.

FMS wants to thank all of the wonderful people and businesses who donated for the Charity Brew: Pinthouse Pizza, Iron Thread Design (Sheri and Christian Bingham), Chann McRae, Susanna Sharpe, Anna Warr Kuhn, Texas Rowing Center (Kristin and Matt Knifton), Peter Pan Golf, Austin Pubcrawler, Live Oak Brewing Co., Sammy and Chuck Huffaker and Kendra Scott Jewelry.

Mission Agency Support from Covenant Presbyterian Church

Over the summer, Covenant Presbyterian Church’s Missions Committee awarded FMS $2,000 in mission agency support. This donation has been earmarked for FMS’s emergency financial assistance fund, which, during the spring 2016 semester, provided crisis funding to three McCallum families as well as families at Maplewood and Highland Park elementary schools.

Grant from ASK Charitable Foundation for Blackshear Elementary Choir

Blackshear ChiorThanks to a generous grant from ASK Charitable Foundation, FMS was able to raise the funds necessary for Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy to purchase uniforms for its choir students, who performed for the Texas Legislature on April 25, as part of the Texas Cultural Trust’s Young Master’s Academy program. Blackshear recently was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon school, the only school in central Texas and one of only 28 schools in the entire State to receive this honor. The students were thrilled with their uniforms and sang beautifully!

Transit Empowerment Fund Award for Cap Metro Bus Passes

The Transit Empowerment Fund has selected FMS to receive 700 deeply discounted Cap Metro bus passes for the 2016-2017 school year. This award will result in a savings of $3,865 next year, which can be redirected to other areas of assistance for students and families in the McCallum Vertical Team. We are grateful to the Transit Empowerment Fund for recognizing the need among McCallum students for safe and reliable transportation to and from school and extracurricular activities so that all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, can take full advantage of all that McCallum has to offer.

KUT Interview

Hear KUT’s Jennifer Stayton’s piece on FMS here:



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