It’s back to school season, have you picked up your school supplies yet? For many people in Chilliwack, it’s not just another errand to run – it’s a financial burden.
The ‘We Got Your Back‘ program, created in partnership with Murray Honda and Staples Chilliwack, provides K-12 students, whose families are having trouble making ends meet, with a year’s worth of school supplies.
“Without the proper instruments, how can students be expected to keep up with the curriculum?” asks Darren Bosch, dealer principal at Murray Honda in Chilliwack.
“It’s so easy for us to come together and help alleviate the problem,” Bosch explains.
“Kids are more successful in school when they don’t have to worry about not having the supplies that the other kids have,” says Shelley Howe, manager at Staples Chilliwack.
Chilliwack Teachers and school administrators identified that the need for school supplies was very high. The program coordinators immediately set out on a mission to ensure that no Chilliwack student went to school without proper supplies.
We Got Your Back is in its second year, after a great response from last year’s donations to help more than 1,000 local kids. Murray Honda has also previously donated winter boots and winter coats to students during the colder months.
“When there’s a population of students coming to school without adequate, basic supplies, or any at all, the burden often falls on the teachers or the district to provide that,” says Justin Mallard, business development manager at Murray Honda.
“We wanted to lighten that burden.”
Depending on the grade level, students in need will receive backpacks filled with supplies like pencils and pens, notebooks, binders, and even math class essentials, like a calculator and geometry set.
Howe and her associates at Staples Chilliwack are fundamental to the success of this program, and they’ve been collecting donations in-store to go directly toward funding these school supplies.
Once the supplies are zipped up and ready to go, Murray Honda and Staples deliver them to every school in Chilliwack, where the teachers and administration take care of the distribution to individual students.
The organizers try to stay under the radar. “We don’t brand the products, and we don’t work directly with the students,” says Mallard. “We just want the kids to feel excited about what they’re getting – we don’t need them to know where it came from.”
In order to fill the backpacks for nearly 1,000 Chilliwack students this year, Murray Honda and Staples are reaching out to the community.
“We’re hoping to have everything funded by the end of August” says Mallard, in order to be able to distribute the backpacks during the first week of school.
Staples Chilliwack is hosting a fundraising barbecue in their parking lot on August 22 from 11:30 to 2 p.m., all proceeds go to the We Got Your Back program.
To donate online, visit fundrazr.com/campaigns/111vE7. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated.