Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS), an organization known for strengthening the community by providing behavioral health, healthcare, and social services to all ages, faiths, and backgrounds, is hosting its annual backpack drive to support Valley parents and teachers who are struggling with the cost of school supplies.
The burden of providing supplies needed for the classroom falls on teachers and families. And in low-income communities, the responsibility falls solely on teachers who ask very little of families who are already struggling with their finances and trying to make ends meet.
According to Lisa Blumstein, volunteer coordinator for JFCS, “The percentage of students unable to afford school supplies varies from year to year, but the need remains. For low-income families who are already facing financial hardships, this can be an impossible task without the assistance of others.”
Each year JFCS coordinates back-to-school events for families in need. This year the annual backpack drive is taking on a new look and feel. Anticipating needing more than 1,800 backpacks for children in Phoenix and the surrounding communities, JFCS is inviting the community to participate and support the Annual “Virtual” Backpack Drive from now until May 20, 2021. Participants in JFCS foster care and domestic violence support programs as well as children at its health care clinics, are eligible to receive a backpack.
Traditionally, JFCS invites donors and volunteers to collect, sort, and pack the fully loaded backpacks, but due to COVID-19, the community is being asked to support the program virtually.
Donors are being asked to make a financial donation, designated explicitly for backpacks and school supplies. Donations can be made on the JFCS website. Once the backpacks are filled, they will be shipped directly to JFCS and distributed to children in need. A donation of just $50 will provide a child with one backpack filled with supplies to utilize throughout the school year, whether they are learning at home or in a school setting.
Added Blumstein, “We are so fortunate to have support from our community, Valley synagogues, Mercy Care, and other groups supporting this annual effort. We couldn’t do it without them.”
More information is available on the JFCS website.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JFCS) is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization that strengthens the community by providing behavioral health, healthcare and social services to all ages, faiths and backgrounds. JFCS’ goal is for a future where families are strong, where elders are cared for and where children are safe. The dedication to the mission is strengthened by a commitment to core Jewish values that honor community and the continuity of the generations. More information about JFCS and ways to support the organization’s mission are available at www.jfcsaz.org.
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