Donations for back to school

Salvation Army seeking contributions to help kids get back to class

Connie McGonigal

The Salvation Army Caring Place is collecting donations for back-to-school supplies for more than 250 school-aged children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The program runs until Sept. 8 and is a critical service for individuals and families in-need in our communities, given the costs associated with a new school year, said Amelia Norrie, public relations coordinator for the Salvation Army Caring Place.

In the past, the Salvation Army has prepared and distributed more than 250 backpacks a year to children and anticipates that the demand this year will be no different.

Mike Murray, chairman of the Board of Education for School District No. 42, has high praise for the program.

“As a new school year approaches, we know many families struggle with the cost of school supplies, especially those on limited incomes with two or more children attending school,” said Murray. “Of course, all parents want to ensure their children have what they need to start school on a positive note and that is where the Salvation Army has been lending a hand for several years.”

To kick things up a notch for 2015, the Salvation Army will be moving its van in to Valley Fair Mall until Saturday, Aug. 22 to fill it with donations of school supplies for the program. Shoppers can grab a list for any age group, and items can then be purchased at Staples or London Drugs and returned to fill the van.

If shoppers prefer to make cash donations to the program, the Salvation Army’s traditional red kettles will also be out to fill.

“I’d also like to encourage everyone who is fortunate enough to have the financial means to consider making a contribution,” said Murray. “Together, we can ensure every child has what they need to learn.”

Both monetary and item donations can be made in person anytime between now and Sept. 8 at the Staples in Maple Ridge or the Salvation Army Caring Place, at 22188 Lougheed Hwy.

• For any families in-need who would like to sign up for the program, contact Connie McGonigal at 604-463-8296 ext. 112, or connie.mcgonigal@caringplace.ca.

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