|Na’amat plans busy season|
|Friday, 09 September 2011 20:05|
The Na’amat Canada Calgary School Supply for Kids program is in full swing for the 14th year in a row. The program, which originated in Calgary and is now a staple feature in other cities, supplies backpacks filled with school supplies for more than 1,250 school-aged children who have been forced, because of domestic violence issues, to live in emergency shelters with their mothers.
This year, two more shelters in the Calgary area need help, bringing the total to 11 altogether. In addition, a major sponsor, Office Depot, has closed all of their stores in Canada. As such, support from the community is more important than ever so that increased needs can be met.
One shelter’s Executive Director compared the experience of victims of domestic violence to escaping a fire, noting that “most of the women and children arrive with just the clothes on their backs.” They leave everything behind to start a new life and, in most cases, the youngsters have to enter new schools for their own safety. That experience alone is stressful; not having their basic school supplies only adds to their anxiety.
Once all the school supplies have been collected, Na’amat Canada Calgary volunteers of all ages come out to fill the backpacks. “On packing day, we get to meet representatives from the shelters as we hand off our backpacks. It is extremely rewarding to know that our program helps brighten the lives of so many children,” says Stephanie Sacks, Na’amat Canada Calgary’s School Supplies for Kids chairperson.
Donations can be made directly to the organization through its website at www.naamat.com or by calling 403-238-1014.
On the lighter side, there are a diverse events ranging from learning to make sourdough bread, a night at the movies, and lessons in calligraphy.