United Way Working to Meet Increased Demand for Backpacks

Edmonton, Alberta – July 22, 2015 – Dozens of  United Way volunteers gathered at the InKind Exchange on Wednesday to build backpacks for the 2015-16 school year, in support of United Way’s Tools for School initiative.  The program provides backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need from kindergarten through to grade 12.  Volunteers sort and organize donated supplies into backpacks to distribute to children and youth in 30 communities throughout Alberta Capital Region.
“We are excited to have individuals from our community joining us to build backpacks to support children and youth in our community,” says Jenn Dermott, Tools for School Program Coordinator.  “Without the volunteers we would be unable to keep up with the increasing demand for backpacks.”
For several reasons, such as greater community awareness of Tools for School along with the fact that 40,000 children in the Alberta Capital Region are living in poverty, the program has already received more requests for backpacks than last year, even at this early stage.
“Last year we distributed 10,318 backpacks, but we’ve already received 10,417 requests for backpacks throughout the Capital Region, so we will distribute more than the previous year,” says Dermott.  “In order to meet the greater demand, we rely on donations and volunteers.”
Donations of cash or new schools supplies can be made at any Staples in the Alberta Capital Region or online at the Tools for School website. All school supplies donated and 100% of all monetary contributions to Tools for School are used for the program.  A complete list of approved school supplies and volunteer options can be found at www.toolsforschool.ca.
Thank you to our Tools for School Community Partner, Staples and to our community sponsors, ABC Press, City, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Examiner, and Newcap Radio (CFCW, Capital FM, K-97).
About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.