(By guest blogger, Laura Duquette)
A new school year and a new start! Every year as the new school year would approach, I remember eagerly awaiting that first day back. I remember mostly excitement to meet my new teachers, spend time with friends and participate in many activities I enjoyed. I always loved going back to school shopping with my mom and having a chance to pick out some new clothes for the upcoming year and choosing some school supplies like binders and colorful folders, pens of every color and a brand-new backpack. The back-to-school shopping ritual led to even more excitement, despite working within a budget.
As an adult, I appreciate more the sacrifice of my family to provide for my needs every year as a growing person who needed material goods to start off a new year on the right foot. It’s also now apparent how some children today, do not look forward to starting a new school year in the same way, many due to financial limitations or family struggles. Maybe there isn’t any money to buy new clothes. Maybe it costs too much to buy new sneakers and so a child must wear the same ones as the year before, despite them being too small or worn out. Maybe they have limited or few choices for any back-to-school supplies. Although acquiring “things” is not an end goal in education, having adequate materials to study and learn is important, and having clothes and shoes that fit are necessary. It also avoids stigmatization by other children where they could be made fun of or bullied due to their socioeconomic situation.
How can we help remedy the situation for kids who need a little extra help during this back-to-school time to help set them on a path for success? The St Nicholas Project does this every year when we support the children at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children! Every year, we host a Shoes for St Nicholas fundraiser to raise money to buy shoes and winter boots for the kids! We also accept donations of gently used clothing throughout the year for the children to choose from. And when you donate to the Kurn Hattin Homes, you also provide for their educational needs for materials, books, classroom essentials and items the children use in their home cottages for learning and play. It’s heartwarming to know that when we support the Kurn Hattin Homes we contribute to creating a happy and exciting back-to-school experience for children who may not have otherwise had this experience.
Every child deserves the chance to learn in a positive and supportive environment with their material needs met. Won’t you help The St Nicholas Project and make your donation today to the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children by clicking on the donate icon above? God bless you!