Ah, July. The beach. Barbecues. Back to school.
No buzzkill, but shopping season is right around the corner. And in these tough economic times, Westport is ready to help those who find it tough to help their school-age kids.
Each year, the Department of Human Services provides new backpacks, school supplies and Payless Shoe Store gift cards to kids from 175 low-income families. It’s an important project, in this largely affluent, you-are-what-you-tote-and-wear town. Last year, 216 children participated — a 17 percent increase over 2008.
But DHS can’t do it alone. Family program coordinator Patty Haberstroh needs help. Donations of new school supplies — including backpacks — can be dropped off Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Room 200 at Town Hall. Even a few pens and pencils is fine.
Monetary donations enable Haberstroh to purchase whatever supplies are most needed. Checks should be made payable to Families in Need Fund (memo: “Backpacks”), and sent to Department of Human Services, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880.
Donations are accepted through August 14, but Haberstroh says “the sooner the better.”
(Families who think they may be eligible for the program should call Haberstroh at 203-341-1069. For other questions about the program, call Margaret Pinheiro at 203-341-1050, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)