Charles W. Hirst Back to School Stipend
The MCRD Museum Foundation is proud to provide annual back to school stipend awards through the support of Charles W. Hirst, and other generous partners. These stipends are intended to supplement the cost of school supplies, materials, clothing/shoes, and remote learning technology for Gold Star children grades K-12 who are a part of the MCRD Museum Foundation Family Forever Program.
Since the program's inception in 2018, we are proud to have served thirty-six Gold Star Children in our Family Forever Program with over $10,000 in back to school stipends! Read some of the comments from our recipient families below:
"The 2019 Educational Stipend brought tears of joy to our family. We are always very honored when people remember Greg because we remember him every single day! Drew used the stipend very wisely, for example, he was able to buy school supplies such as paper, pens and notebooks which got him off to a great start. He saved the rest to purchase his kit for the Varsity Swim team! Greg was an amazing swimming like Drew so this gives us double pleasure to see him follow in his dad’s footsteps! Thank you, again, for the stipend."
-Gold Star Spouse
“The stipend was a tremendous help in providing uniforms required by the school and a new backpack. With my youngest son I took a different route and put him in private school. With 50% of tuition covered by a scholarship and financial aid, I cover the additional tuition cost. With one income, funds can be tight but has been worth the sacrifice. My son's grades have drastically improved along with his self-esteem. The stipend is such a blessing in helping Mekhi's academic path be successful.”
-Gold Star Spouse
“The Charles W. Hirst Back to School stipend has made a huge difference for my son, Alex, and I. Last year he hit a growth spurt and out grew all of his clothes all at once. The stress of trying to budget for replacing an entire wardrobe while also getting all the necessary back to school supplies at the same time was a bit overwhelming. Alex told me it was ok. That he would make do with what he had or we could maybe just get him two or three outfits to hold him over until our finances were more solid. Having your 10 year old tell you that he can "make do" when you know he really doesn't want to is enough to break a mothers heart. Luckily, we were awarded a stipend and Alex was able to go shopping for what he needed and wanted, not just the bare minimum. He was able to start the school year confident and care free and I was able to breathe easier knowing that he was taken care of and I wouldn't have to choose between taking care of his back to school needs or covering things in our normal monthly budget. We are incredibly grateful for all the help that has been offered to us since my late husbands death. It has meant so much.”
-Gold Star Spouse
About Charles W. Hirst
Cpl Charles "Chuck" W. Hirst, a Korean War era veteran and MCRD San Diego alumni was born in 1930 in Compton, CA. He joined the Marines and graduated from MCRD San Diego in 1954 and spent most of his service in Japan. In February of 1960 Cpl Hirst left the military but continued his service in the reserves for a year. He then began working construction jobs before he met the love of his life and traveled the world together. They enjoyed flipping houses before it was an actual “thing” and were fortunate enough to make money in real estate and continue their travels for years to come. Cpl Hirst believes that education is important and so are our service members and families and has an affinity for helping people. Chuck became a major partner of the MCRD Museum Foundation in 2019 when he learned about the Family Forever Program and how we supported our Gold Star Families. He is passionate about children and their education and the sacrifices of our servicemembers and their families. Because of him and many generous donors like him, these stipends are possible.
*With the ongoing COVID-19 situation causing school closures and other issues for our educators, we know that traditional education settings and methods for our children will be impacted and new challenges will arise. The stipends are just one way of showing our unwavering support for our Gold Star community in this uncertain time.