Backpacks Needed For Needy Kids Returning To School

Source: KooKoo Bear Kids/Flickr

Back to school time isn’t only stressful for kids who are devastated that summer is ending, but also stressful for parents forced to buy their children new supplies and clothes. For some parents, that obligation is more trying and they can use all the help they can get. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Reaching-Out Community Services Inc. (7708 New Utrecht Avenue) is holding a “Big Backpack Giveaway” event for families in need of new school gear.

Reaching-Out Community Services is a non-profit organization that provides vital services to struggling community members, including helping them apply for Social Security, Medicaid and also serving as a food pantry. The Daily Eagle described their latest effort in getting school supplies to families who need them:

Donations are being accepted to enable Executive Director Tom Neve and volunteers to purchase backpacks and school supplies for 400 children whose families are registered with Reaching-Out Community Services.
The organization is asking residents to sponsor a child for the school supplies program. Information about the backpack giveaway can be found on the group’s website,
The backpacks will be presented to the children at the giveaway event on Aug. 24. New York City public schools open on Sept. 9.
This year marks the third annual backpack giveaway held by Reaching-Out Community Services.
“We’re trying to ease the pain for parents who can’t afford to buy school supplies for their kids. When you can’t afford to buy food to feed your family, you can’t afford to get school supplies,” Neve told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
“We’re also doing it so that kids can feel like they can fit into society,” Neve said.”It’s hard enough to be a kid and to see your parents going through hard times. It’s worse when you go to school and see all of the other kids with everything they need. You feel left out, apart from everybody,” he said.

All the backpacks distributed will be filled with pens, pencils, notebooks and paper. Neve, a former city worker, described why he founded Reaching-Out.

“I was working for the city and I saw there was so much need out there. People were really hurting. They still are,” he said. Over the past 10 years, he has seen a large increase in the number of people coming to the organization for help. “A lot of people don’t even know that hunger exists in their community. But it’s here. People are hungry,” Neve told the Daily Eagle.

The non-profit group is also organizing a Walk Against Hunger march on September 28. The walk will start at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 1305 86th Street at 11 a.m. Registration for the walk begins at 9:45 a.m.

Best of luck to the Reaching-Out Community Services for their effort and all their great work.

UPDATE: 8/22/13 (8:53 a.m.): The giveaway starts this Saturday, August 24, at 11 a.m. at 7708 New Utrecht Avenue. The following is a message from Reaching-Out’s Executive Director Tom Neve:

Reaching-Out Community Services will be distributing over 400 Back Packs with school supplies to children of need. This is not a hand out, its charity with intelligence. How we know the children need it, it’s a no brainer… the kids are recipients of our emergency food pantry program. So we know they need the help.