Column: Kids need help during back-to-school season
A No. 2 yellow pencil freshly sharpened, a glossy folder with Joe Namath on the front and a soft pink eraser are the items that come to mind when I remember my back-to-school and school supplies tradition.
For most, the annual ritual of heading off to the office supply store to put a check mark next to every item on a detailed, teacher supplied list, is a happy, memorable time.
But for some in our town, the thought of a list with a $150 price tag becomes dreaded news and in many cases, a hill too steep to climb.
Fortunately, we don’t have to look the other way and wish there was something we could do to help. There are people and a place providing a safety net right here in our community, very focused on this one important aspect of a child’s elementary school experience. The Merciful Help Center is located on the campus of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.
It is there where more than 1,800 children will receive not just a backpack stuffed with learning necessities but some important extras carefully provided.
When asked why she comes back year after year to volunteer since 2007, Pam Curtis said, “Amazing to see children’s faces light up when they come to get their supplies. The parents are so appreciative and I know we are providing an opportunity for students to retain their dignity and not feel different from other children.”
The rigorous application process for admittance to the program starts in March and is now closed. On July 25, those accepted will be able to pick out the color and type of supplies appealing to each child. This important distinction makes “Tools For Schools” a very unique program. But even more incredible is the fact that the program will also include for each child a pair of shoes, socks, lightweight jacket, a book and underwear.
But why tell you about this today if the program is closed? There are 1,800 children signed up and coming even though the program is running slightly behind on donations. Somehow, someway…they will take care of every child and make it happen.
But, if you have the means to make a cash donation that could go towards a folder with Barbie, Transformers or Andrew Luck on the front, you would be a hero deserving of your own folder cover. Every contribution counts and the kids need you.
For more information email ToolsforSchool@mercifulhelpcenter.org.