Vision Ford-Lincoln donates $500 to Angel Funds

Vision Ford-Lincoln, Wahpeton, donated $500 to Breckenridge Public Schools’ Angel Funds Thursday, Sept. 3. From left, Ward Cater, Belinda Slettedahl, Diane Cordes, Joel Heitkamp, Jesse Christensen, Sarah Heinrich and Derek Hanson.

Vision Ford-Lincoln, Wahpeton, donated $500 to Breckenridge Public Schools’ Angel Funds Thursday, Sept. 3.

The car dealership has been hosting KFGO for a drive-thru coffee and rolls service this year. They have taken in free-will donations to support the surrounding area. 

Most recently, Vision Ford-Lincoln held its Coffee with KFGO event with Breckenridge Superintendent Diane Cordes in support of the districts’ Angel Funds. 

“What a wonderful community donation. We really appreciate it,” Cordes said. “We have so many businesses in our community that support our school and it is just another great example of how this community takes care of its kids.”

Angel Funds began before Cordes’ time at Breckenridge Public Schools. It started with conversations about families not being able to pay their hot lunch balances. A community member decided to donate a sum of money to support those families to the school which created the account. 

“Those that qualify for free and reduced lunches – they are taken care of, but there are families that are in a pinch financially here and there and just can’t pay. That’s what the Angel Funds are for,” Cordes said. 

Breckenridge Public Schools has a policy that states all students will be fed a hot lunch no matter how low the student’s balance is or if it is negative. 

“Two things that are just unacceptable is one: humiliation of a child. Going through the line with their peers and everyone gets a meal and their child gets stopped and has to get a different lunch, that is just unacceptable to me and the school board and our district policy,” Cordes said. “The other part of that is we know that kids need great nutrition in order to learn and so we want to make sure that we can do everything possible to set the proper environment for them to learn. If that isn’t there, it’s also unacceptable.”

When Vision-Ford Lincoln reached out to Cordes about donating to the school, she thought that donating money to the Angel Funds would be the best due to the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I just thought with COVID, there might be more families that are financially in a pinch and have troubles with lunch balances so I thought maybe we could build up this fund then we can help more people,” Cordes said. “Again, because we are in a time now where I think there are some families struggling in a lot of different areas.”

Cordes explained that the school ultimately decided to call the account Angel Funds because it felt like an angel, or like a wonderful person, reaching out to help. Through word of mouth, other community members began pitching in to donate to the account. Additionally, churches provide an occasional donation. 

The Angel Funds are meant to help those in a pinch or those in need and so there are no qualifications or application, rather the discretion of having a conversation with the family and determining that this fund could help them once to get their balance close or back to zero. 

“We are not in the position to judge. We just want to have a respectful conversation with them and if they indicate that they are having some trouble then we want to help them,” Cordes said.

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