Back to school season can be a stressful time for most parents. Between meal planning, childcare, and school supply shopping, resources can become stretched quite thin. But for many families facing homelessness, the stress of struggling to make ends meet often takes priority over back-to-school shopping. In the U.S. more than 16 million children live in extreme poverty. This September, these kids will enter a school year without the basic school supplies needed to learn and thrive academically.
At InTown Suites, we acknowledge the difficult choices than parents and children living in poverty face each year. For this reason, we’ve made it our mission to help better serve these children by holding our Second Annual Backpack Drive at our corporate offices in Atlanta, Georgia.
Every year individuals, groups, and organizations like ours across the country come together near to ensure that every child is given an equal opportunity to succeed. It’s a simple gesture with big rewards, and an easy activity to organize too.
Charitable organizations like the Volunteers of America (VOA) run Operation Backpack programs across Northern and Southern California, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Through VOA, you can make a donation online or in person, volunteer, or create your own company engagement campaign.
Of course, you don’t need to live in these areas to help out your own community. Check local Facebook groups, Rotary clubs, churches and volunteer organizations to find out what initiatives are already taking place in your community. Or, start your own backpack drive! Getting involved is as simple as reaching out to local schools, teachers, and administrators to find out what items are needed.
WHAT TO DONATE
Different grades have different school supply needs, so choose a grade to focus on or assign different grades to each of the volunteers in your group to make sure each donation has all the essentials the lucky recipient needs.
If you’re working with a smaller group and fewer resources, but still want to make a big impact, remember that classrooms across the U.S. also face budgetary restraints and could use your help. Staples like pens and pencils, paper of all kinds, glue sticks, notebooks, scissors, and calculators are always appreciated and needed by all grades, while tissues and hand sanitizer are much-needed items that are often in short supply.
And of, course backpacks. Pick an age appropriate bag big enough to hold all supplies and sure to bring a smile to the face of a child in need.
Making sure every member of our local communities, big and small succeeds together is just another way that InTown Suites Extended Stay Accommodations gives back. Do you have a community initiative you’d like to tell us about? Reach out and let us know!