Partners to End Poverty News Release – September 13, 2017
‘Operation Fill-a-Backpack’ has been completed for another year and was a successful and satisfying experience once again. Volunteers were able to fill a total of 283 backpacks with school supplies for families in need in the northeast region through the excellent support of the Salvation Army, the Hudson Bay Family & Support Centre, and Partners to End Poverty (PEP) partner organizations such as the Girl Guides, as well as from committed community volunteers.
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“We have also begun to reduce the number of items on school supply lists through our productive partnership with the North East School Division, and we are now working on increasing the uniformity of requested supplies,” stated Tim Onsrud, Coordinator, PEP.
Registrations and donations in a community-driven project such as this one tend to ebb and flow from year-to-year and community-to-community. For example, in Nipawin, the number of registrations indicates need remains quite high, but the response was also high due to ample donations. Tisdale, being a smaller community, had a lower number of registrations yet generated a wealth of donations. In Melfort, registrations increased significantly in 2017, yet donations were down.
“This is only an issue of quantity, and not one of quality, as a number of organizations and individuals still gave very generously. Fortunately, with much-appreciated assistance from the Salvation Army, we were able to give backpacks with at least some school supplies to all of the families who signed up,” Onsrud said. “Perhaps some project specific targeted fundraising throughout the year could lead to a bit more community buy-in for 2018. The numbers would seem to indicate that there is a growing need.”
This year was the first that the ‘Operation Fill-A-Backpack’ poverty buster was introduced to Hudson Bay. Thanks to a fruitful partnership with the Hudson Bay Family & Support Centre, it was a resounding success.
“Their effective communication, promotion, and connection brought in some amazing donations and ensured that these vulnerable families will be starting off the school year on much better footing. PEP is also thankful for the work of our partner organizations, and for our tremendous continuing partnership with the Salvation Army. All four of our communities on this project have offered their own success stories and diverse strengths,” Onsrud commented. “To everyone who participated in the ‘Operation Fill-a-Backpack’ poverty buster, we would like to sincerely thank you for helping to make a difference in the lives of these children.”