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Youth Villages’ supporters provide backpacks and supplies for more than 330 children in New England

September 8, 2016

Click to view galleryView a gallery of thank-you notes from the children, photos from corporate partners and pictures from our School Supply Shindig fundraiser.

Going back to school for every family can be a difficult transition after a carefree summer. However, for some of the youth and families in Youth Villages programs, going back to school can be a financial burden filled with stress and anxiety. For the past seven years, the Youth Villages’ Back-to-School Drive has been able to alleviate that stress.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers, the 2016 Back-to-School Drive was a remarkable success. Youth Villages New England was able to distribute backpacks filled with new school supplies to more than 330 children in our neediest families. We could not have done it without your tremendous support.

Youth Villages’ Danielle Pendleton, family intervention specialist, had the opportunity to see first-hand the impact that a backpack can have on a family.

I have been working with this family for a few months and the last four years has been filled with ups and downs. The three children were removed from the home and both parents worked hard to bring them all home. Mom and Dad went through many challenges, made significant progress individually and together, and after three years in foster care, the children returned to their parents’ home in June 2016.

Mom and Dad work diligently to provide for their children. Nevertheless, it was clear that the cost of going back to school for three kids would be a financial strain. All three children returned to the home with little clothing. Getting clothes for two growing boys and a teenage girl can get expensive very quickly, adding to the cost of backpacks and school supplies. However, Youth Villages was able to support this family with the backpacks and clothes through its Back-to-School Drive.

When I brought the backpacks and clothes to the family, the parents began to tear up. Both were overwhelmed by the generosity and they continue to express gratitude. The whole family was so grateful and appreciative, knowing that the children would have incredible backpacks that would last them a long time, and brand new outfits for school. The boys were extremely excited that their backpacks included tissues! Their teen daughter was so happy to open up her bag and see so many personal touches, including a purse fit for a 14-year-old girl.

The family continues to thank me for these items at our weekly sessions, and they were so excited to show me they were using the school supplies when they got home from school!

Thank you to everyone who donated, shopped and took the time to care about this family and the many families across New England this September!

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