Tag Archives: back-to-school program

Backpacks For A Cause

Back-to-school shopping is seldom the grinning, hand-holding experience portrayed in TV and print ads.

backpacksKids worry they’ll have the “wrong” notebooks or pens.  Parents fear they’ll forget something important, and their kid’s teacher will think they’re idiots.

Other Westporters have a deeper, more realistic fear:  They can’t pay for everything their kids need.

Fortunately, Westport’s Human Services Department is on the case.

Its annual Back to School program, offering supplies to eligible families, is underway.

The program provides new backpacks and gift cards (Staples Office Supply, Walmart, Target) to income-eligible families with children in the Westport schools. Cash donations to the program are welcome too.

Last year, 181 boys and girls received assistance. Director of Human Services Elaine Daignault estimated the number as equivalent to 10 classrooms of kids.

“A growing number of Westport families face the burden of financial hardship,” she notes.

“Back-to-school time can be particularly stressful on a family budget. Thanks to generous Westporters, our department provides discreet assistance to families who want to give their children the best possible start to the school year.

“Parents can share in the excitement of back-to-school shopping with their children. And donors can be confident that 100% of their donations benefit their Westport neighbors.”

The program depends entirely on the generosity of individuals and organizations.

There’s a new online donation portal: click here. When you get to “Seasonal program name if applicable,” click “Back to School program” from the drop-down menu.

Tax-deductible monetary donations of any amount made payable to “Family Programs Fund” (memo: “Backpacks”), as well as gift cards, can be sent to: Human Services, 110 Myrtle Ave. (Town Hall), Westport CT 06880.

New backpacks and gift cards can be dropped off at the department offices, Room 200 in Town Hall, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., now through August 12.

To find out if you qualify for assistance, call 203-341-1050, or email emilton@westportct.gov.

Backpack For A Cause

Back-to-school shopping is seldom the grinning, hand-holding experience portrayed in TV and print ads.

backpacksKids worry they’ll have the “wrong” notebooks or pens.  Parents fear they’ll forget something important, and their kid’s teacher will think they’re idiots.

Other Westporters have a deeper, more realistic fear:  They can’t pay for everything their kids need.

Every year that’s true.  In 2009, it’s truer than ever.

Fortunately, Westport’s Human Services Department is on the case.

Its annual Back to School program, offering supplies to eligible families, begins tomorrow.  It runs for a week.

The program provides new backpacks and school materials, as well as shoe gift cards, to low-income Westporters.  Last year, 186 kids from 99 families received assistance.  It doesn’t take Nostradamus to know this year’s numbers will be higher.

The program depends entirely on the generosity of individuals and organizations.  Tax-deductible monetary donations, made payable to “Families in Need Fund” (memo:  “Backpacks”) can be sent to, or dropped off at, Human Services, 110 Myrtle Ave. (Town Hall), Westport CT 06880.

Donations of new school supplies — including backpacks, that most visible fitting-in sign of all — can be made at Room 200 in Town Hall, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

To find out if you qualify for assistance, contact Margaret Pinheiro by phone (341-1050) or email (humansrv@westportct.gov).