History of Nettie & Friends

Who is Nettie?  Who Are Her Friends?  And What Are They Doing?

Nettie Monroe taught special education kindergarten at Maxfield Magnet School in St. Paul. In 2002, when the St. Paul School District cut funding that paid for milk for kindergarten kids, she made hot pads and sold them at the Day by Day Café in St. Paul. Thanks to that sale, all 90 kindergarten students had a nutritious snack with their milk for the rest of that school year.

Thus, was born Nettie’s Milk Fund. But Nettie’s Milk Fund wasn’t restricted to milk.

People heard about the fund and sent donations. Soon there was enough money in the fund so every child in the school could receive a hot lunch regardless of family circumstances. In fact, there was always enough money to pay for lunch if a parent who visited school wanted to eat lunch with their child.

Thus, Nettie’s Milk Fund became Nettie’s Nutrition Fund.

Over the next two years Nettie added aprons, pillowcases, and pillows to her sale at the café. The proceeds of those sales increased enough to allow the faculty to buy some extra class materials, pay for a field trip or two.
In 2006, Nettie’s sale was still going strong. She moved it to the Egg & I Restaurant on University Avenue in St. Paul. The sale ran all December. As sale proceeds continued to increase, she added a “clothes closet” at Maxfield to provide uniforms to students who couldn’t afford them.

Nettie’s friend Marsha had been helping Nettie from the beginning, hanging the first potholders at the cafe, inviting friends and doing anything else Nettie needed her to do.  Things changed drastically in 2007 when Marsha said, “You know, Nettie, you have friends who would help you with this.”

Thus, was born Nettie & Friends. More people helped, donating items for the sale, bringing their friends to the sale and telling people what good work was being done for the students at Maxfield Magnet Elementary.

In 2009, Nettie & Friends was organized as a non-profit. Contributions became tax deductible and more people heard about the work being done on behalf of students at Maxfield.

And so, the story continues . . .

Gifts from individuals and groups make it possible for Nettie & Friends to continue providing things like snacks and uniforms. Now we’re able to go beyond that to field trips, science experiments, even bringing a tank full of fish and a bunch of eagles to school.

With your help, that will continue . . .