Bay Ridge

Backpacks needed for kids from low-income families

Golden teams up with Catholic Charities for donation drive

August 14, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Parents struggling to make ends meet often don’t have the money after paying the rent and the bills to indulge their children by buying a new backpack for school. As a result, children of low-income households arrive for the first day of school in September and find that they stick out like a sore thumb in a classroom where everyone else has a new backpack.

In an effort to save children from embarrassment in front of their peers, Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens is conducting a donation drive to collect backpacks, notebooks, pencils, rulers and other school supplies for underprivileged children.

There are three drop-off points in Bay Ridge – the offices of state Sen. Marty Golden at 7408 Fifth Ave. in Bay Ridge and 3604 Quentin Road in Marine Park, as well as the Catholic Charities Our Lady of Angels Human Services Center at 336 74th St. in Bay Ridge.

Residents are asked to donate new school supplies including notebooks, crayons, back packs, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, highlighters, washable glue sticks, 2-pocket folders, 3 by 5 lined index cards and other items.

The donated supplies will be distributed to families at a Back to School event sponsored by Catholic Charities on Thursday, Aug. 21, at the center at 336 74th St. from noon to 3 p.m. The day will also include music and games.

“This is our third year in Brooklyn,” a Catholic Charities spokeswoman told the Brooklyn Eagle on Thursday. Fidelis Care is co-sponsoring the Aug. 21 event and will provide school supplies for 150 event participants, according to the spokeswoman, who said the company supports the event every year.

This year also marks the third year Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southwest Brooklyn) has teamed up with Catholic Charities for the back to school donation drive.

“I know what it is to go to school and not have new supplies. I was one of eight children in my family,” Golden told the Eagle. “It’s important that we help these today kids start off the school year right. A lot of parents just don’t have the money, after paying the rent and the bills and putting food on the table, to go out and get school supplies. That’s the last thing on their mind. They have to keep their kids clothed and fed first.”

The deadline for donations was supposed to have been Friday, Aug. 15, but Golden he would accept backpacks and school supplies for several days after the deadline.

“This year I hope that this community will again come together to support our neighbors in need so their children can have the same opportunities this year in the classroom,” Golden said.

For more information on the Back to School event, call Catholic Charities at 718-722-6001 or Golden’s office at 718-238-6044.

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