Bacon Street Youth and Family Services’ Backpack Drive is Bigger Than Ever!
Words and Images courtesy of Bacon Street Youth and Family Services.
Bacon Street Youth and Family Services is proud to announce the start of their 3rd annual Backpack Drive. Bacon Street’s Social Services Department distributed 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to students in grades K-12 last year at its Hampton office along with healthy snacks and hygiene items. This year, Bacon Street is excited to majorly expand their community giving by hosting 3 distribution sites. Their goal is to provide 100 stuffed backpacks at each location. Backpacks and supplies will be collected from July 11th through August 10th at the Williamsburg, Hampton, and Gloucester offices. The Hampton and Williamsburg offices are accepting donations on Tuesday and Thursdays, and the Gloucester office is accepting donations on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The items that are most critically needed for this drive are backpacks suitable for elementary, middle, and high school students. These backpacks can be new or gently used, but they cannot have wheels. There is also a high need for blue and black pens, mechanical and #2 pencils, college rule loose leaf paper, spiral notebooks, and pocket folders. Given many students’ recent reliance on technology due to the continuing prevalence of virtual and hybrid learning, inexpensive headphones and flash drives are also appreciated.
For families that wish to pick up a backpack for their students, they will be distributed at the Hampton, Williamsburg, and Gloucester offices from 2PM-6PM on August 18th.
According to a 2020 survey by the National Retail Foundation, families spend approximately $800 per year on school supplies, and given the financial challenges of inflation and the pandemic, school supply drives are more important than ever. The Princeton Eviction Lab had identified Richmond, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Chesapeake among the top ten evicting cities in the country, and given the end of Virginia’s eviction moratorium in June, many families are facing housing instability. While glue sticks, crayons, and pencils may seem like insignificant purchases to some, they make a world of difference to families facing housing and food insecurity, instability in their work, illness, and other financial challenges.
Without the necessary school supplies, students are unable to complete their classwork and homework, will have lowered confidence, and may act disruptively to mask their discomfort and embarrassment. Each backpack allows students to be prepared for the school year and have a confident and productive beginning to their year. Bacon Street is proud to be outfitting students with the tools they need to succeed and appreciates the community’s support for their work.