August 5, 2011

The Back to School Backpack Program: Helping Durham Region Families Send Their Children Back to School Prepared

For many parents in Durham Region, the struggle to feed, clothe and house their families is ongoing. And when September rolls around, there is often no room in the budget for new clothes, let alone backpacks and school supplies. 

At this time every year, a group of dedicated volunteers solicits the help of the school board and various businesses throughout the Region to ensure these families are not forgotten and children in need of assistance return to school with a new backpack filled with school supplies.

Angie Baglieri has been involved with the Back to School Backpack program for five years and is saddened to see how the need continue to grow each year. "I've heard stories of parents trying to keep a roof over their heads. Every month, they have to choose between buying food or paying the hydro bill; buying a backpack and school supplies or paying the gas bill. This program is necessary and it helps."

Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is proud to support the Back to School Backpack program again this year and encourages other local businesses to do the same.

"The school board has partnered with us to identify the supplies necessary and approximated the quantities of filled backpacks required," explains Angie. "With 100% of donations directly allocated to the program, your donation will ensure that children in our community have the tools they need for a successful school year."

The Back to School Backpack program has obtained the services of a local supplier who will provide age-appropriate, filled (pencils, pens, crayons etc) backpacks for $13+tax per bag. For Ajax, Pickering, Clarington, Oshawa, Scugog, Whitby and Uxbridge, the combined total required has been determined to be approximately 2,000 units.

To ensure all students begin the school year prepared, volunteers will begin delivering the backpacks to schools during the week of August 29th.

"Our fundraising goal again this year is $20,000," says Angie. "This amount may need to go up...I've seen it in the past."

Businesses wishing to donate to the Back to School Backpack program are asked to call Angie Baglieri at 905-721-8878 or email angiebaglieri@yahoo.ca. All donations are issued a receipt from the United Way.