Do you remember summer vacation as a child? I remember long days swimming at the lake, fishing with my Dad, and playing on the rope swing on the large oak tree in the back yard. I could go to the library and read my favorite books on lazy rainy summer afternoons. Then we start to notice the commercials on T.V. to buy back -to-school supplies and Mom starts making a list of everything we need; new shoes, new backpack, pencils and notebooks. I loved the first day of school. I never slept the night before. I would spend all night giggling in the dark with my brother who was across the hall with nervous anxiety of how much fun we were going to have. Even though we saw our friends during the summer now we would see them every day! Well, imagine there are thousands of children in New York City who live in homeless shelters that have no money for new clothes or school supplies this year. They might be embarrassed when the teacher tells them to open their notebooks and they don’t have one. Do other kids point and laugh at them? Does some child nearby offer to share his notebook? Does the teacher supply the child with a notebook or pencil? How does the child do his homework at night?
Volunteers of America has been holding an event called Operation Backpack since 2001 where new backpacks and school supplies are donated to children living in homeless shelters to make sure they have a great start on their education. If you like to get involved, you can choose the grade level you would like to shop for and a list of specific supplies are listed on the website. You can drop off your backpack at the Grand Hyatt on E. 42nd St. and Park Avenue. I think the public drive begins July 15th.
The HAPPY volunteer is participating in Operation Backpack for Volunteers of America. I’ve chosen to get a backpack and school supplies for a child in the grade levels 1st to 4th grade. The list includes #2 pencils, large pink erasers, crayons, and marker sets. It’s been a long time since I’ve shopped for school supplies for this age level unlike some of my friends who are already parents. I think it will be fun and I encourage you to join this great cause! I will keep you updated on my shopping excursions!