I woke up this morning and the panic struck. Our family vacation is over and soon my children will be heading back to school. That means making sure doctor visits are complete, enrollment forms are turned in, and calendars are arranged. It also means I need to be sure my children have clothes, shoes, and supplies to start school feeling strong, confident, and ready to learn.
It also means that I am acutely aware that all of the children that The Willow serves have the same needs, and many more barriers to accessing all those things. As I tick through my to-do list and fret over the time and money I will need to expend in this back-to-school season, I know that the survivors we serve are looking at the same list, with few resources, many unknowns, and often fear. Their children need a hopeful first day where they feel confident and strong as they walk in the doors of what might be a new school in a new town or neighborhood.
A new pair of shoes might seem like a small thing in the grand scheme to many of us, but for a six year old, those shoes are everything. They not only make a child look and feel good - they also mean comfort for running, playing, and participating smoothly in a day's activities.
The Willow provides those things for all of the children whose families are in our service. Our advocates take each family shopping to buy backpacks, shoes, supplies, and if possible, a new set of clothes or two. We need your help to do so.
This year we anticipate providing these essential back-to-school needs for at least 40 children. The cost per child varies between $100 and $150 depending on age, supply list, and special needs.
Please consider sponsoring a child and equipping them with the pride and confidence they need to embrace a new year of school. Feeling cared for and loved in a scary time comes in many forms. I know we all remember the feeling of going to a new school, and the excitement of putting on a new outfit that we picked out specially for that day. Help our children feel that same feeling.
Gift cards to Wal Mart or Target in increments of $25 or $50 are a great way to support this cause. Or, you can simply donate via our donation website at https://willowdvcenter.networkforgood.com/projects/55817-back-to-school and select Back to School 2019 from the drop down menu provided. We will make sure your dollars go directly to championing a hopeful and healthy back to school for our kids.