Help us Continue the McGimpsey Legacy

In North Thurston Public Schools, many students face the daily challenge of attending classes without basic necessities like toothpaste or enough food. The McGimpsey Pantries program, initiated in 2007 and named after local philanthropists John and Opal McGimpsey, has been a lifeline for these students.

Born from their humble beginnings during the Great Depression, John, a proud veteran who served his country during World War II, and Opal, a beacon of strength during the Dust Bowl era, understood firsthand the struggles of going without. Their experiences fueled a deep-seated desire to make a difference, particularly for the youth in their community.

Initially funded by the McGimpsey’s with $700,000 over three years, the program provides essential supplies like school materials, toiletries, clothing, and food to homeless and underprivileged students in North Thurston Public Schools. Today, every school in the district has a McGimsey Pantry and access to NTEF Student Assistance Funds which support students on Free/Reduced Lunch Program with educational opportunities like class/credit recovery fees, ASB cards for sport participation or music rentals. With approximately 6,300 students qualifying for free and reduced lunch and over 900 experiencing homelessness last year, the need is profound. 

Following the wishes of the McGimpsey’s—John, who passed away in 2014, and Opal, who passed away in 2015—the North Thurston Education Foundation utilized their generous gift to support students in need and ensure no students went hungry. However, the funds have now been fully expended, yet the demand for support remains as pressing as ever. We urgently need your help to ensure that we can continue providing essential assistance to these students. Your contribution can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most.

The McGimpsey Pantry and Student Assistance Program is a vital resource for our homeless and low-income students, providing them with the basic necessities they need to thrive and access to programs that charge for participation. It’s not just about meeting physical needs; it’s about ensuring that students have the resources required to focus on their education without the burden of hunger, inadequate hygiene, or financial constraints limiting their participation. Equitable access to all educational programs and support is crucial to ending the cycle of poverty.

The needs of our students persist and continue to grow. Every student deserves a safe environment to learn, grow, and access to education for a brighter future. We urgently seek your help to ensure that every student, regardless of their circumstances, has the tools they need to succeed. Your support today will have a lasting impact on the lives of countless students tomorrow. Join us in honoring the spirit of compassion and generosity embodied by John and Opal McGimpsey. Learn more about how you can contribute to the McGimpsey Pantries program and help us continue their remarkable legacy at Student Assistance Grants – North Thurston Education Foundation (