Outgoing Salvation Army executive director Darrel Pilgrim with Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows MP Dan Ruimy and school board trustee Kim Dumore. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Hundreds of children ready for back-to-school thanks to the Salvation Army

The third annual fair took place on Wednesday

Hundreds of children received new backpacks filled with all the essentials for school at the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries’ annual back-to-school fair.

The third annual fair was held Wednesday afternoon at the Maple Ridge Baptist Church.

Around 400 students received a backpack at the event that also included a day at the fair with a free hot dog lunch, complete with chips and a drink, free haircuts and styles from professional hairstylists who donated their time and free cotton candy and popcorn provided by Maple Ridge Christian Reformed Church. There was also a bouncy castle and a pair of llamas.

“In the bags is a full kit. So binders, pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, everything that a kid needs to start the school year off,” said outgoing Ridge Meadows ministries’ executive director Darrel Pilgrim.

RELATED: Salvation Army sending record number of kids to camp

Last year, they helped more than 500 children.

Fundraising coordinator with the Ridge Meadows Ministries Belinda Carlaw, said this year they had to limit who they served in the community and a couple of agencies that they helped last year, they were unable help this year.

Carlaw said the free backpacks and school supplies are for vulnerable and low income families and registration is done through the Salvation Army prior to the fair.

RELATED: Head of Ridge Meadows Sally Ann moving on

They also work with the school district throughout the school year.

“This past June, we gave the school board 1,000 pamphlets to hand out to those they felt would benefit from this program,” said Carlaw adding that they also help other agencies including the Friends In Need Food Bank and another Salvation Army.

The program is run in partnership with Staples where they purchase the backpacks and supplies at a reduced cost and Canadian Tire Maple Ridge that has donated 100 backpacks to the program over the last two years. They also receive monetary donations from many businesses as well.

The cost is about $75 per child, which does not include the cost of putting on the fair.

“Our desire is to make sure that every vulnerable child enters the school year with the necessary supplies to have a successful year. We believe that by equipping them with a good start, they will have a higher chance of success,” said Carlaw.

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries has been giving out free backpacks and supplies for 17 years. The first year there were only 20 students that grew to 80-100 students shortly after.

Agencies that had booths at the fair included: the Maple Ridge Fire Department; the Maple Ridge Public Library; Maple Ridge Parks and Recreation; the Maple Ridge branch of the B.C. SPCA; Immigration Services; Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association; Literacy Council; School District 42 Parent Council; Public Health Nurse; and several local churches.

“The kids we are helping today, they are vulnerable in our community and this is a chance for us to show them that we care about them and believe in them and the future that they can have,” said Pilgrim.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Maple Ridge Fire Department was at the Salvation Army (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Darrel Pilgrim, outgoing executive director of the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries holds a bag filled with school supplies that they gave out at the fair on Wednesday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Phoenix Blais, 8, who will be going into Grade 3 at Eric Langton elementary enjoyed a free haircut and style at the back-to-school fair.(Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Update: Winnie the pup wakes family to flames

Fire breaks out in west Maple Ridge early Tuesday

Silent auction for Community Services in Maple Ridge

One of the largest in the community

Vice pres of Pitt Meadows Plumbing honoured at awards of excellence

Vancouver Regional Construction Association awarded Matthew Robinson Best Under 40

Traffic bylaw change gets final OK

Maple Ridge follows rest of B.C., not allowing biking on sidewalks

Non-profit Showcase at the ACT in Maple Ridge

A chance to see what work local non-profits do in the community

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperate breeding program

B.C. to more than double sales tax on vaping products

Tax up from 7 to 20 per cent, tobacco tax up two cents

29 B.C. students in Hong Kong amid tense protests, university siege

Eight UVic and 21 UBC students still in Hong Kong

‘Midget’ no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

The rail workers began their strike after failing to reach a deal by a midnight deadline

Student tells B.C. Supreme Court she wasn’t allowed to leave Indigenous smudging ceremony

Girl cross-examined Monday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Tuesday

Trans Mountain received $320M in government subsidies in first half 2019: report

The money included $135.8 million in direct subsidies and $183.8 million in indirect subsidies

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Most Read