Hello... my name is Scott Kirouac, Chairman & Founder of Ag Angels Inc. 16 years ago, I was visiting my grandson’s elementary school in Sebring during the holiday season. While checking in at the front office, a little girl walked in wearing a very dirty dress as well as duct tape around her shoes which were noticeably too large. After the little girl left I had a conversation with a staff member which changed my life. She informed me that the little girl was just one example of many students in their school who would go without a single gift to open Christmas morning. I went home that evening thinking back on our conversation. The thought of these children being surrounded daily by more fortunate children who would have gifts to open Christmas morning. How hard that must be for them to return from Christmas break to see other kids showing off their new clothes and gifts they received... this just didn’t seem fair.
These children didn’t ask to be brought into this world by parents who make bad choices, have their priorities wrong, or have health or financial burdens that are beyond their control. All I knew was that these less fortunate children deserved to have at least the joy of waking up on Christmas morning and having a special gift to open. So the following day I called the school and asked if I was to bring some money to them, would the teachers and staff be willing to identify and shop for a few of those less fortunate children? They responded with a definite yes and they would be honored to do so. I informed them the funds came with one stipulation... the money I was donating could not be used to give the students or parents gift cards or cash. I feared that the money could then be used for unintended purposes. They agreed to select and interview the children to put together a list of wants and needs and do the shopping for them. That is how it all started.
After receiving a heartfelt “Thank You Letter” from the school... the following year, I went through my contact list and called friends and associates to ask if they would like to help. I explained to them how the program worked... many jumped on board and have donated every year since.
I also serve on many agricultural boards in the area and solicited donations to this program. This is where the “Ag Angels” name came from. One of the directors of the Highlands Heartland Chapter of the Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association came up with the name and asked if they could endorse the program to bring in even more funds. Of course, I had no problem with that and agreed. I was up for anything I could do to reach more less fortunate children.
Now 16 years later... over $835,000 was raised with 100% of the donations going towards providing a Christmas for less fortunate children in our area. This program continues to grow beyond my wildest expectations. Ag Angels, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. I believe the success of this program can be attributed to the donors knowing that 100% of their donation goes towards the cause and that there are built-in safeguards to prevent misuse of funds.
Join us this year in putting a smile on a less fortunate child’s face on Christmas morning.
Ag Angels Founder & Chairman