LAS VEGAS – From forming in 2011 to help 150 local high school students to providing much-needed services for more than 6,500 such students today, Project 150 is celebrating its first decade in Southern Nevada by expanding its mission of supplying food and hygiene products to homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged local high school students.
As outlined in its 2020 Impact Report, Project 150 adapted its services during the pandemic to continue meeting its mission. Highlights include:
· Food Distribution Program – Historically, the food distribution program delivered cases of non-perishable food directly to 63 Southern Nevada high schools every week, but when schools closed in March 2020, many of the students served by Project 150 were left without a steady source of food. The program established a curbside, contactless food pick-up program at Project 150’s facility. During the first month, more than 1,200 high school students received 2,126 family meal bags, totaling over 8,500 meals.
· Betty’s Boutique – Project 150’s on-site boutique gives students in need the opportunity to shop for free, new and like-new clothing, school supplies and backpacks during its Back-to-School shopping event. In past years, more than 1,200 students were served during the annual event. Adapting to capacity restrictions and social distancing guidelines, the event was recently modified to appointment-only shopping. More than 800 students participated in the 2020 event.
· Scholarship Awards – This program awards students who are moving on to higher education with funding for college. In 2019, 51 local students received Project 150 scholarships totaling more than $116,000 at its annual awards luncheon. In 2020, with such large events cancelled, students and their family members missed the opportunity to be recognized in-person for their accomplishments. Still, 44 local students received more than $90,000 in scholarships last year.
“This past year was filled with so much uncertainty, but we vowed to serve our community no matter how many times we had to reimagine how we support our students,” said Kelli Kristo, Project 150 executive director. “We exist to have an impact on our students and the community, building a diverse and inclusive organization that’s genuinely in touch with its staff and reflects the people we serve.”
About Project 150
Project 150 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, founded in December 2011 by local businessmen Don Purdue and Patrick Spargur. The two had heard about 150 homeless high school students at Rancho High School in Las Vegas who were in need of support over the Christmas break. Since that time, Project 150 has expanded and now serves more than 6,000 registered and non-registered homeless, displaced and disadvantaged high school students in more than 75 schools throughout Nevada. Project 150 provides these students with food, clothing, school supplies, sports equipment, shoes, college and workforce readiness and other needs so they have what they need to continue school and be successful in life. Visit Project 150 at www.project150.org.