Fresh Start for Success

Posted by Anne Lundquist on 11/28/2018

Ankeny Community School District’s community engagement department supports Project Fresh Start, a program piloted by Volunteer Dave Kissinger in 2004. After five years as a teacher and 29 years as a counselor at Ankeny Schools, Kissinger retired and proposed an idea to disperse school supplies to Ankeny students who could not afford them. His plan went through the Education Task Force, a group made up of educators and members from the Ankeny Chamber of Commerce. The group accepted the proposal and began work on a program called Days of Giving to give school supplies away for the 2005-2006 school year.


In its first year, Days of Giving distributed 170 backpacks filled with school supplies. This year, volunteers came together to distribute 653 backpacks in four hours to Ankeny’s kids. The program was so successful that there are many backpacks and supplies leftover that will likely be distributed throughout the year or carried over to next year’s supply giveaway.


Days of Giving sparked a system of charitable services called Project Fresh Start, all originally organized by Kissinger. The most recent of Kissinger’s projects, in partnership with former school board member George Tracy, is Fresh Start for Success. The program launched Friday, September 7 of this year. Students with a job or desire to obtain a job can now apply to receive a voucher to buy the clothing they need to pursue their goals.


“What we want to do is give them a fresh start,” Kissinger said. “These kids are great kids. They just have some need.”


School Supplies