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The tiniest chill in the air can signal the single biggest day in a child’s year – back to school! Donning a new outfit, a backpack stuffed with supplies, the ‘in’ characters on a lunchbox; there’s so much excitement and even anxiety for both children and parents when fall comes and we pack up our tiny loved ones and send them away on the school bus. We worry whether they’ll like their new teacher and make any friends, all while we are sad that they are growing up so fast.
But there are other kids of other parents – parents who worry about different problems. These parents may fear that their child will stand out because they get a free breakfast or lunch. They may struggle with overtime and be skimping on necessities to get new school clothes at a thrift store. These are parents that know that a child ostracized from their peers will struggle to fit in, to feel good, and to be motivated to do well in school.
Providing a child with school supplies, a backpack, hygiene kits, and even undergarments and haircuts meets more than just the literal need of such items – although in many communities, it is a desperate need. But showing a child that they are worth investing in, that they can be proud of themselves, and that they deserve good things too can make a world of difference. The way their eyes light up when they know that they can go to class, have their own items and not have to use the teachers or get in trouble for not having supplies, can take your breath away. Watching your child climbing the steps onto the school bus having a sense of pride for the first time cannot compare with any other feeling in the world, and it’s pretty amazing for the child, too.
So many children are forced through poverty to dread going to school day after day. These children so often than never fulfill their potential and go on to generate a vicious cycle of being undereducated and underemployed.
A backpack of school supplies, a set of hygiene item, new undergarments, new haircuts and styles, and even more are part of the We Care Now Back to School Fair. Help us show a child that school can be a place of fun, belonging, and promise.