Andy Braun’s first reaction to seeing news of the closure of Marana High School during the Red for Ed walkouts was simple, to help those in need.
Braun has developed a close bond with students and staff at the north side high school over the years during his time as the vice president of mortgage lending for Guaranteed Rate Mortgage.
His time in the community, including his volunteer efforts that include running the Tigers’ football Facebook and Twitter pages, have fortified that connection.
It’s that connection that drove him to help any students and families that rely on the district’s free and reduced lunches—taking to his personal Twitter on Thursday, April 26 to offer free food to students and their families.
“If any Marana kids rely on school lunch and have no food at home [Direct Message] me your address and I’ll bring you In&Out or meet me there and I’ll buy it for you,” Braun tweeted. “I will be discreet about it and won’t tell anyone, don’t go hungry, hit me up.”
Braun thought of the idea after hearing about the school closure over breakfast, and immediately jumped on social media to reach the widest audience possible.
He knows how hard it is to keep food on the table, and thought the simple gesture would find a receptive audience.
“It wasn’t even planned,” Braun said. “My wife told me the first morning how a lot of kids rely on school lunch to eat which I never realized. I started thinking about when I was kid, we weren’t poor—my dad was an engineer—but if I missed school unexpectedly I wasn’t eating sometimes because we didn’t have food at the house. We were talking about how kids might be in that same situation because parents didn’t plan it and a lot of parents weren’t prepared for it.”
Braun’s gesture reached a receptive audience, with 15 kids coming out to the fast food mainstay on April 26, followed by five more on Saturday.
Braun followed up by renting out a theater inside the Harkins Theatre Arizona Pavilions 12 in Marana for a special showing of Marvel’s “The Avengers” on Saturday, April 29.
His goal in doing all of this was to promote the type of close-knit community that Marana represents to his family and to give back