The 7th Annual Back to School Drive was the most successful thus far, we collected over 400 backpacks and supplies. After a month of collecting donations, a team of volunteers sorted and filled the backpacks the day before the big event. Each bookbag contained notebooks, rulers, glue sticks, pens, pencils, crayons, folders, and more. The Yale Latino Networking Group, Future Leaders of Yale, and Yale African American Affinity Group partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven County this year to hold a back-to-school fair at their Columbus Avenue location. We provided a bounce house, DJ, food, arts and crafts, free books, as well as financial and career information provided by Crosspoint Credit Union and the New Haven Hiring Initiative. We cannot forget the generous snuggles from Heidi, the Yale Police Department therapy dog. Children also had the opportunity to explore a New Have Fire Department Engine and the Yale Police Department armored vehicle.
On Thursday, August 25th families lined up eagerly at 3:30 pm waiting to get first dibs on the supply-filled backpacks to complete their child’s first day. By the end of the event, we handed out over 200 bags to families, donated 70 bags to the Shack Community Center on Valley Street, and another 100 to be distributed between the Yale Police Department and New Haven Fire Department to children in the community that were unable to attend the event.
As we prepare for fall, our children are preparing to enter new schools and/or classrooms. Their minds are heavy wondering if they will make new friends or if they will be lucky enough to have some old classmates with them. One thing that the attendees of our event did not have to worry about was whether they would be ready for school.
This was all made possible by the help of the Yale Community – Yale’s eight affinity groups, the Department of Internal Medicine, Yale Police Department, American Eagle Credit Union, Boys and Girls Club of New Haven County, Crosspoint Credit Union, Greater Purpose, Chi Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, New Haven Fire Department, New Haven Police Department and of course all the community volunteers. Thank you for your dedication and selflessness in supporting this event for the last 7 years.
More event photos can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.5280352892084013&type=3.