It’s nearly back-to-school time and the United Way KFL&A is asking for donations to their annual Backpack Program, which helps local families set their young students up for another year of success.
The program, organized by the Social Issues Networking Group (SING) with support from the United Way KFL&A and various other community businesses and organizations, has worked for 19 years to ensure that families and children have all they need for another successful school year, according to a release from the United Way.
In 2021, thanks to the community’s generosity and support, over 1,700 children and youth started the school year with supplies and backpacks, according to the United Way.
“We are so thankful to United Way and our community for the backpacks filled with school supplies for children headed back to school,” said a representative from Kingston Interval House. “We immediately handed them out and one mom was very teary-eyed when getting hers and so grateful.”
According to the release, the need is even greater this year due to the pandemic and rising costs.
“We know through conversations with agencies and the schools that the needs are greater than any previous year,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO, United Way KFL&A. “We are asking our amazing community to come together once again to help children and youth. It may be as simple as picking up a few extra pieces when you do your own shopping, or a financial donation or the donation of supplies or backpacks – you will help so many children and families start the school year off right.”
Once supplies are collected, the United Way said that volunteers will start packing backpacks mid-August for distribution through agencies and schools.
According to the agency, the most needed school supplies include backpacks, lunch bags, pens, pencils, rulers, math sets, markers, crayons, scientific calculators and pencil cases. If possible, gender-neutral colours are encouraged.
For a complete list of recommended items by age group, or to donate monetarily, community members can visit www.unitedwaykfla.ca/backpackprogram
Items can be dropped off at the United Way office at 417 Bagot Street, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.