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Fort Bend ISD’s Shared Dreams Program Celebrates 35 Years of Fulfilling Student’s Needs

(FORT BEND ISD) - Fort Bend ISD’s Shared Dreams program is celebrating 35 years of fulfilling the needs of students and their families across the district that require assistance with clothing, food, shoes, school supplies and toiletries.

Shared Dreams was created in 1988 to provide basic everyday items to Fort Bend ISD students – provisions that help remove barriers and enable children and their families to have a less stressful school experience.

Shared Dreams started when Dulles Elementary School and Palmer Elementary School reached out to their respective parents for help providing clothing to their students in need. The parents became a volunteer group that washed and donated clothes, with each group sending their collected items to the other group’s school.

“They exchanged clothing to ensure anonymity for the children receiving the items to eliminate the chance of a student spotting a classmate wearing his or her donated clothing,” Community Engagement Liaison Bobbie Anderson said. “This support also helped to reduce unnecessary stressors so students could focus on academic success.”

The program grew to the point where police officers became part of the outreach effort and started delivering donated clothing directly to students’ homes.

Shared Dreams is part of FBISD’s Department of Collaborative Communities and is a priority area of focus. All FBISD campuses are supported through the program. Teachers and schools hold donation drives, community, interfaith organizations, and business partners have become regular supporters. Many FBISD staff members, students, and the district’s top leaders also volunteer their time.

One of Shared Dreams’ annual highlights is “Holiday Cheer” which takes place each December before the winter break when the program receives wish lists from students in need. Typically, each child receives a hoped-for toy, game or clothing and their family also receives festive food packages and gifts for other children in the household.

“There has also been a tremendous outpouring of generous community support with all segments embracing the program’s mission while keeping heart and service at the forefront of every effort,” Collaborative Communities Executive Director Payal Pandit Talati said. “Shared Dreams is a true testament to Fort Bend ISD’s commitment and vision when it comes to supporting our students and families.”

The district has 80,000 students and 52 percent are classified as economically disadvantaged. Almost 1,000 are homeless. The need continues to grow at an alarming rate.

29,722 – number of FBISD students Shared Dreams assisted with clothing, food, school supplies and toiletries during the 2022-23 school year.

  • $300,000+ – value of money, goods, and services donated to Shared Dreams last year

  • 1,000 hours served by volunteers in the FBISD community last year

  • 1 in 80 students in Fort Bend ISD is homeless

  • 52 percent of Fort Bend ISD students are classified as economically disadvantaged

  • 11,400 – number of school supply kits distributed to students across 64 campuses in 2022-23

  • 146 – number of students who received holiday gifts and food during “Holiday Cheer” in December 2022

  • 60 – number of different schools the students attended

  • 73 – number of different community sponsors that contributed

Shared Dreams primarily relies on philanthropic donations. To make a monetary gift, visit To provide in-kind donations or serve as a volunteer, call (281) 634-2916.


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