Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Sat. Aug. 27

Oops. I forgot to paste my Ink Blog piece in Saturday's paper into the blog. So here it is. It's a timely reminder that as our little people go back to school, some of them are luckier than others. And there's always an opportunity for us to help in some small way.

Here in London, a small group of volunteers did just that, and they've been hugely successful thus far. I hope this entry prompts other good folks in other cities to consider doing the same:
Back to school usually means a new backpack filled with pencils, erasers, notebooks and other hallmarks of childhood.

Except when your family can’t afford it.

Enter Supplies for Students, whose volunteers scrounge the city for school supplies, then bring them back to a Westmount Mall storefront to assemble the bags for needy children at the Thames Valley and London District Catholic school boards.

Principals in each school identify recipients and personally deliver the bags the first week of school. The goal: do it quietly to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Co-founder Rita Turpie says the group defines life on a shoestring.

“We’re just a little group with no budget,” she says. “Our community support has always been tremendous.”

It may look like a simple backpack, but Turpie says it builds lives.

“This gives children the tools to learn, to build their future, and contribute back to their communities.”

If you’re shopping at Westmount Mall and want to be a hero, drop by the storefront beside the post office. Or e-mail me here. I’ll do anything to see a kid smile.
Your turn: Is there something similar going on in your city? Do you think something like this can snowball beyond our little neck of the woods?


Anonymous said...

We collected school supplies at work in Malvern, PA for needy kids. And used books, too.
--Rachel (

ccap said...

That's a very cool idea. Definitely gets my mind whirring. Thanks!

Last Girl On Earth said...

That sounds like such a good idea. I haven't seen anything like that around NYC. I'll look to see if there is. I don't have kids, but I sure do like buying new pens and notebooks!

Heather said...

Our hospital gave away school supplies and free vaccinations a week before school started. They made it like a big party with face-painting games, jumpers, etc. It was a good thing to do.

Nortnat said...

Carmi- thank you so much for taking the time and all of your help in making this venture successful. It's people like yourself that help make a difference in our communities. An update from the Supplies for Students group: As of yesterday, we received additional financial support which will enable us to go out and by more backpacks! We're still working towards that goal of 500! All this is possible, because people such as yourself care about making a difference and helping others.

dena said...

We have a similar program in our area. It's handled through one of our local news stations. They camp out and broadcast from the parking lots of Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc. It's a great way to get supplies on the backs of kids that really need it. It's a great program, and such an expensive way to make such a huge impact in some child's life.

visiting from michele's

Yaeli said...

What a great idea!! Little things like that can really encourage a child to like learning and going to school, which are very important things in this day and age.

Back from Michele's again.

Nickle Annie said...

What a great idea! I don't think that they do anything like that here. I should look into it.

Carmen said...

We do have a similar set up here. One of the TV stations does the collecting.

Myself, I spend so much on school supplies that I usually don't buy extras. I feel badly about that - I think I'll drop something in next visit to Wal-Mart. Thanks for the reminder!

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