The biggest Tools for School campaign in the history of The United Way of Fort McMurray is ready to roll. A total of 2,350 backpacks have been filled with grade appropriate supplies to help students in need get equipped for the upcoming school year.
“This is significant,” said Diane Shannon, Executive Director, The United Way of Fort McMurray. “In a normal year, we provide back to school supplies for 400 to 500 students. This year is anything but normal.”
Parents of students in the Public, Catholic, Northland and Francophone (L’école Boréal du Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord) school districts who are experiencing hardship and can benefit from this program are asked to contact their schools to request a voucher for school supplies.
Quadrupling the Tools for School program in response to the extraordinary need being experienced in our community happened thanks to incredible support from numerous volunteers, organizations and companies.
“We have had a lot of help this year,” said Lindsey Bradbury, one of the Tools for School coordinators with United Way. “Stephen’s Backpacks in Airdrie have been amazing. We’ve also had lots of help from Staples, Boston Pizza, and Cummins. Additionally, we received $10,000 from Liam Waterous and his family from Calgary. After dropping off their cheque, Liam and his mom Jan helped us put the backpacks together.”
A total of 900 backpacks are going to Fort McMurray Public School and Fort McMurray Catholic Schools, respectively. There are also 400 going to students in the Northland School Division, 100 to École Boréal students and 50 to students in Frank Spragins School.
“The large growth in the Tools for School program is all about helping families,” said Shannon “and, fundamentally, it is about ensuring that, despite their family circumstances, every child has the tools they need to be equipped to participate in active learning alongside their peers in the classroom.”