By Becky Heard
Back-to-school is an exciting time for families, but as evidenced by the number of agencies raising funds and supplies to stock student backpacks, it can also be stressful. With school budgets shrinking, students are expected to bring simple provisions like paper, pencils, scissors and crayons.
In addition, they must tote assignments to and from school each day. A backpack isn’t just a means to carry extra gear; it’s essential for learning.
That’s why it’s so heartening that our community repeatedly steps forward for those organizations able to identify kids who otherwise would go without. After all, children deserve the best possible chance to reach their fullest potential, regardless of economic background.
Clients at the Yolo Crisis Nursery are among those in need and each year, the Friends of the Nursery pool resources to supply the basics. It’s one of several cornerstone projects we take on annually.
This year, we’re happy to report another successful campaign and are thankful to the nursery for being our eyes and ears, hearing the concerns of those who struggle, and providing us with this easy idea to reduce stress.
With the start of school nearly underway, we’ll now shift our attention to the holidays. Believe it or not, it’s never too early to start.
Adopt-a-Family begins with a large collection of people — from individuals to families, book clubs to neighborhood associations — who are willing to shop for and purchase presents according to client wish lists.
Hopes include items such as bedding, dishes, towels and clothes. But since these are true wish lists, we encourage little ones to imagine toys, too.
And they do.
Clients selected for this program aren’t just economically disadvantaged, they’re facing extreme crisis — hardships few of us can imagine. As a regular participant, I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to take a break from my own personal holiday preparations and wrap each and every special something.
Having access to brand-new necessities is certainly appreciated, but to those who receive, the fact that an anonymous, nearby heart cares about them is the true gift.
In preparation, we expect this year’s need to surpass previous seasons and are looking for additional giving angels. If you or your group can help, please contact Heidy Kellison at 530-386-2647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
One final note to parents: As your kids head back to school, they undoubtedly will encounter others who aren’t as fortunate. Sadly, economic worries, family illness/death, abuse and a whole host of trials will confront some students.
Please have a developmentally appropriate conversation with your children so they can be part of a caring community — one that supports others in times of difficulty, challenges to which we are all vulnerable.
On behalf of Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, I wish all our students a bright school year.
— Becky Heard is past president of Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Her column is published monthly.