Woolwich Community Services is once again conducting its backpack program to provide back-to-school supplies to students from low-income families in the area.
“A lot of families can afford to go shopping for back-to-school supplies that are brand new: backpacks, brand new binders, a whole new box of pencil crayons and markers. And some families cannot afford to do that. So we like to be able to offer that for low-income families,” said community support coordinator Tina Reed.
The program will provide backpacks filled with supplies to some 125 students from the township. WCS is requesting donations of cash and the most-needed items, including backpacks (especially for students aged 12-18 ), thermal lunch bags, water bottles, binders, safety scissors, calculators (regular & scientific), markers and pencil cases.
Parents can register for the program by calling community services between August 2 and August 19. After registration, parents will be given a pickup time. Once there the youth will get to choose their backpack and a few items along with a pre-packed bag of items.
“Part of getting excited for the new school year is picking out items that fit your personality, be it the flashy backpack, the funky lunch pail or the plain pencil case. We like to offer the children and youth these choices,” said Reed.
“Receiving new items, new backpack items and school items, allows the children to get excited about going to school and being like the other kids who may be showing off their new backpack and their new pencil case and their items, so they can show off their new items that they received as well.”
Although there may be some hesitation for families to request items from WCS, there doesn’t need to be, Reed said.
“Many families hesitate to sign up for some of our programs due to the public stigma over using programs. I would like to say that our programs are confidential. We don’t give out names.”
While families may also be hesitant because they think that they might be taking something away from someone else who may be in need, this is not true, Reed said.
“We have enough for any family that comes through our doors to qualify for any of our programs,” she said.
For more information, contact Tina Reed at 519-669-5139.