Letters to the Editor

Island community rallies to help our kids | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Project Backpack, the school supply drive at Helpline House, is coming to the close of another successful year.

For the families who seek services at Helpline House, providing the basics of life — housing, electricity, medical care and food — is a challenge even in the best of times.  When faced with unexpected or unusual expenses such as a car needed for work suddenly needing repair, an already stretched-thin budget can be seriously impacted. Providing school-aged children with the basic school supplies needed each year often similarly creates serious anxiety in parents already struggling with their finances.

That’s where the community of Bainbridge Island steps in through Project Backpack, donating school supplies, backpacks and money to pay for other required expenses related to starting the new school year.

This week, we will be able to provide more than 160 school children with new backpacks and all the essential supplies to start school. The students will not only be taking all these supplies with them to school, but also an intangible — the gift of fitting in with the rest of the students whose families were comfortably able to provide them with these things. They will fit in with the rest of their classmates and be able to contribute to their classroom supplies just like the rest of the students.

You have stepped forward to help students in our community have what every student deserves the first day of school: a fresh start. To our generous community, thank you.

From the kindergartener who picked out a backpack for another child when choosing his to donate to Helpline, to the grandmother who brought us 10 backpacks completely filled with school supplies, thank you. Many of you had stories to tell of hardship in your own families, and yet you were grateful to be able to help.

This week, we celebrate your generosity as we greet excited children picking out their new backpacks. Happy new school year to you all.

MARILYN GREMSE

Manager of Volunteer Services

Helpline House

Community Events, April 2014

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