Forgive us for being the ones to point it out, but back-to-school time is just around the corner.
Thankfully, some people in our community keep a close eye on the calendar and co-ordinate the invaluable Stock the Lockers campaign every summer. This year’s fundraising drive gets underway today (Aug. 11) and continues until Sept. 1.
Last year, Stock the Lockers raised $32,000 for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation and this year, organizers hope to raise $50,000. We know there is great need in our community. We want our kids to be able to show up the first week of school with a wardrobe that conforms with what’s cool, yet we know there are families in certain neighbourhoods in the city that struggle to fit back-to-school shopping into their budgets.
There is an ever-present need amongst too many kids in Nanaimo for some of those basic essentials, for example, shoes that fit. And how about breakfast before first bell and a brown-bag lunch? Most of us would be surprised to learn the extent of – and need for – food programs at Nanaimo schools.
Stock the Lockers sets about assisting all kinds of kids. The money raised helps with some of the absolute necessities, plus back-to-school basics such as pencils, rulers and binders. It also raises money for some of the other occasions when free public education isn’t free, helping with things like field-trip costs and sports team fees. The campaign even extends to purchasing certain trades-training supplies like work boots.
One of the best parts of back-to-school is that it’s a starting point, a fresh start. Some students desperately need our help, others might just need a nudge – new shoes, a pencil, a book and a point in the right direction, and who knows where it will lead?