Another school year is fast approaching and Napanee’s Salvation Army and Napanee Area Community Health Centre are doing their part to ensure every student has what they need to succeed.
The two agencies have once again partnered for their annual backpack campaign, striving to provide each child with a bag full of the supplies to ensure they reach their academic best. They’re once again appealing to the community for donations of school supplies to help fill the backpacks.
“So far we have about 275 registrations,” said Abby Mills, director of community ministries for the Napanee Salvation Army. “Which is more than we’ve had in years past. But on the other side of that we have enough backpacks on hand already. Really there are just some key supplies that we would really appreciate help in order to fill the backpacks with the tools that the kids need to succeed in school this year.”
“We need one inch binders, paper for the binders, we need blue pens, we have lots of red pens,” added Mills. “Crayons, we need markers, the chubby markers for little hands and the fine markers for the older kids. Basic calculators and scientific calculators are always appreciated. The big thing that’s really a new addition for this year as a must have is a water bottle for the kids. Due to the pandemic most schools have replaced their water fountains with fill stations.”
Donations can be dropped off to their new location at 81 Dairy Ave. in Napanee.
As the cost of living has increased, so too have the number of families accessing the Salvation Army’s services, the backpack campaign being no different. Helping students in need be better prepared for school can be the first step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
“I think giving kids everything they need to succeed in school, to learn the basics that they need to see them through life, it’s just key to helping them get out of poverty because without an education there are limited options for them for the future,” said Mills.
The ongoing generosity of the community as well as a partnership with Walmart has allowed the Salvation Army to build a health reserve of backpacks leading up to the school year.
Backpacks and supplies will be distributed to registered families the week of Aug. 22. To find out more about the program, call 613-847-1635.
The fourth annual MyFM/L&A Mutual Insurance All Hands On Deck Food Drive will also be taking place Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Volunteers will be stationed outside of Napanee’s Metro, No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart and will be accepting food or monetary donations for Morningstar Mission and the Salvation Army Food Bank.