Despite the heat wave spreading across the country, it’s time to begin thinking about fall.
We know that kids have a myriad of feelings about going back to school, ranging from joy at seeing their friends again, excitement to learn something new, and dread at being indoors five days a week again. But for some, their primary emotion is anxiety and shame, wondering how they’ll get this year’s long list of school supplies.
Celebrating and supporting children is a central tenet of PRISM. We provide birthday supplies year-round, host a holiday toy drive in December, and now that it’s summer we’re getting ready to distribute backpacks and school supplies!
Helping children feel ready for school isn’t just about giving them a one size fits all black backpack and crayons. We talk a lot about centering dignity at PRISM, and for a school supplies drive, it means knowing that each child is different and should have the chance to pick out the things that match their interests, no matter their family’s income. That’s why you’ll see Pokemon, dinosaurs, Hello Kitty, and floral backpacks on our registry – because there’s dignity in choosing for yourself.
We need your support to get there. Our food shelf is seeing record numbers of visitors, and we’re spending record amounts to keep the shelves stocked. The reality is that while need is up, donations are down, and we have 800 backpacks to distribute before the school year starts.
Last year, Minnesotans spent an average of $700 per child on back-to-school supplies. This is simply impossible for many families, especially given the record-high numbers of community members reaching out to us for support.
If you’re going back-to-school shopping this year for a child in your life, and you don’t have to look at the price tags as you walk down the aisle, consider matching your purchase total with a donation so we can buy another child their supplies. Or go to our registry and pick out the backpacks, crayons, and markers you’d most like to have if you were starting school in September. Every child deserves the dignity of entering school prepared and able to succeed, and that can’t happen without community support.
*If you’re looking for assistance with school supplies, you can fill out the form here.