I’ve never written something like this before so bear with me. I am Patti Franchino, and my non-profit, Maker Depot Academy, needs your help. We are a 501(c)3, and just over 2 years old. We have come far in our first two years, but I know with your help, we can accomplish so much more. I consider myself a Maker by Marriage, (this is a title I gave myself, lol). In the past few years, I have learned a lot about this amazing community of Makers, and about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Mostly, that we really need it in our schools. Don’t get me wrong, there are schools that are doing it, and doing it right. But, there are some that need help, and that’s where Maker Depot Academy comes in. Our goal is to make sure that everyone has access to “making”. That people see that it is more than 3D printing. Which is really cool, don’t misunderstand me, but there is so much more. There’s woodworking, metal working, robotics…etc. We show schools that you don’t have to buy the most expensive 3D printer out there. We can lease you the smaller ones, and you can get more, and USE them. Use them in your lesson plans, print out the Roman Colliseum. Let the kids touch it, see it, build it. Get them excited!!! We need to get our kids (and us) using our hands again. To show them that it is okay to get dirty, that it’s okay to take stuff apart, and see how it works. To build stuff, to work with your hands! Use your imagination!!! And it’s not just schools. We want to reach out to foundations, community organizations, clubs. We want everyone to have access to “making.” This is why we need your help. We can’t do this without the support of you, our friends and neighbors. To do this, we need help. Every little bit helps. With your donations, we can buy more 3D printers for schools, we can continue to build our "MakerCarts, " that are mobile makerspaces for classrooms. We can add to more classes to our after school programs. We have a devoted group of extremely talented and motivated volunteers, who give their time and talent to us, and we would love hire them. We also need an office staff to help us with the day to day of running a non-profit. Because you know it, there really is no profit, in running a new non-profit. I hope you consider giving to Maker Depot Academy. All donations are tax deductible. Your support helps us to give the skills that our children need for the jobs that have not even been created yet. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You! This has truly become our passion. We love what we do, and we love amazing people that we have met on our journey. The Making Community is like no other, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds! For more information on us, please visit our website at www.mdanj.org.