It’s the first week of school in Washington, DC. Students are cracking open new crayon boxes, sharpening their pencils, and adjusting to polo shirts and khakis after a summer in shorts and sandals.
Those new school supplies and crisp uniforms mean a fresh start for kids. But they can also mean a lot of money for parents who are already juggling many financial pressures. For families in Community of Hope’s housing programs – each one recovering from homelessness – there just aren’t extra funds to cover the costs. Reports on the average cost of back to school supplies, clothes and technology vary but range from $300 to over $1,000 per student. That’s why we are grateful for the generosity of many companies, families, and individuals who chipped in to send money, backpacks and school supplies to our families.
Over 850 backpacks were donated by our partners. Last Thursday, in partnership with the William O Lockridge/Bellevue Library next door, we distributed backpacks to kids in our housing program and our Bellevue and Washington Highlands neighbors. The 3rd Annual Bellevue Back to School Bash, with Walmart as a lead sponsor, attracted over 1,000 participants. We enjoyed a visit from Mayor Muriel Bowser, performances from Deanna Stealth, and talks with a variety of authors.
Not only did backpacks with supplies equip kids for school but free haircuts, games, snacks, bicycles, and variety of community resources equipped families for health and learning.
Many thanks once again to the many partners who helped Community of Hope and the William O Lockridge/Bellevue Library successfully equip students for a year of learning.
The Carlyle Group
DC Public Library Foundation
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Advisory Board Company Revenue Cycle Team
Greater First Baptist Church
US Coast Guard
DC Housing and Community Development
Smiles for Milestones
Community of Hope Church of the Nazarene
Jeff and Yvette Woods