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In today’s society, there are gift cards for almost everything: restaurants, movie theaters and online shopping. One newly-popular place to get a gift card in Carrboro is a grocery store. This is because of the Grocery Store Card Program, run by Christie Osborne and the Carrboro PTSA.

Osborne, a parent of three who currently attend Carrboro, has run the program since her kids were at Scroggs Elementary. She just recently started with the Carrboro program.

“When we did this at Scroggs, we tripled the amount of money [for the PTSA] in two years, and the person at Carrboro was awesome, so it is now the major PTSA fundraiser,” said Osborne. “We did it before and we were very successful, so we started at Carrboro.”

Funding for Carrboro was very low, and the program has been helping tremendously to reverse that. According to Osborne, the school budget was redone and the PTSA discovered that
over $10 thousand was raised from this program.

Lowes, Weaver Street, Whole Foods and Food Lion are four of the grocery stores involved in the gift card program.

“I’m not quite sure how it all started, but they offer this to any school,” said Osborne. “Not all schools do it, but most do. They have offered to almost all schools where the grocery stores are located.”

Even though the program has been so impactful, few families participate in it. According to Osborne, only around 3 percent of the families participated last year. Osborne and her colleagues—Snehal Patwardhan, Jean Huang, Stephanie Mosteller and Bethany Paine—are all working on increasing the number of families this year by advertising to the other 97 percent of families.

“We are really implementing a new way to change the credit card spending, and we’re still looking to do more,” said Osborne. “A very small percent of the school actually used this, and we still made over $10 thousand. So, we are really trying to reach people through different marketing, and once we are able to get people, we will have much more profit.”

The PTSA is currently working on making the 2017-2018 school year even more successful than the years before and making sure that Carrboro’s specific programs—STEM, Theatre, Student Government and more—get sufficient funding.