UPDATE: In addition to backpacks, Kars4Kids will be giving out a limited number of quality uniform shirts, vests, and sweaters at the Friday event. These aren’t just ANY old shirts, vests, and sweaters. They are from the awesome children’s fashion king, French Toast, and come in white, yellow, and light blue.
And just to top it all off, Kars4Kids is also giving out sharp-looking pencil cases with pen, pencil, crayons, ruler, eraser, and pencil sharpener inside, just to make sure that kids in the Bronx have everything they need to start the school year off on the right foot!
The Kars4Kids Backpack Giveaway, as in other years, has just one aim and that is to make kids feel good about going to school. Sure, you could try to scrub that hand-me-down-backpack to make it clean again, but that won’t impress your child. There’s just something about having a new backpack for the start of the new school year that puts pride in a child’s step and a smile on his face.
Kars4Kids believes that the secret to a successful academic year is all about building on a good start. That’s what Kars4Kids, in conjunction with Senator Gustavo Rivera and the Bronx CAN partners, aims to give the children of the Bronx on August 20-22: a good start.
The Bronx CAN Health Initiative is about reversing the poor showing of the Bronx in terms of health behavior, clinical care, social and economic welfare, and physical environment in the city of New York. CAN stands for “Change Attitudes Now.” The Bronx CAN Health Fair is a positive step in that direction and Kars4Kids is taking part in the effort.
Many people know the Kars4Kids jingle, but it seems just as many have no clue what exactly Kars4Kids does. Here’s the straight dope: Kars4Kids is car donation program that is all about children. The funds the organization raises from car donations funds educational initiatives for children, including, ahem, the Backpack Giveaway at the Bronx CAN Health Fair. Because we know that ALL parents want their kids to have the best education possible. They want them to get a fair shake. They want them to get ahead.
There isn’t anything most parents wouldn’t do to make that happen. And the ache in the heart that comes with having to say no to a purchase of even the most basic school items hurts like no other ache. This is where Kars4Kids is overjoyed to step in and lend a helping hand.
In part we do it because children are our future. That’s the selfish part. The rest of it is about evening the score for those on the wrong side of luck. We can help. And so we do.
At Kars4Kids, we think that having a new backpack can really make children, even those living below the poverty line, succeed in school by making them feel an equal part of the classroom. But this year, as in every year, some parents are struggling just to put food on the table and pay the rent. For many families, there’s no money left over for school supplies. And unfortunately, that can doom a child’s future, committing him to the perpetuation of the same dang cycle of poverty.
The only way to break that cycle is to offer that child a break.
The Backpack Giveaway is a positive step in that direction. It’s not just about having what one needs to do schoolwork; it’s about a child’s emotional needs, too. Poverty tends to be accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and despair, of not feeling good enough to compete.
It’s the same in children as it is in adults. Poverty beats a person down, takes the stuffing out of a person and leaves him dejected and weak. The feelings are strongest when confronted with the sight of wealthier classroom peers.
In the classroom, a child meets all kinds of children from all different backgrounds. Children from families with means have an obvious advantage, not just in terms of their material needs but also regarding the spirit. Such children never have to worry about their next meal or how they’re going to get what they need for school. They have no such burdens.
We see the goal of the Backpack Giveaway as lightening the heavy burden of needy families and their children. Getting that backpack means one thing they can cross off their list of things that must be purchased with the small store of cash that just can’t stretch wide enough to cover all needs. It’s something we can do to help.
What can you do to help? We’re glad you asked that question. Share this blog piece with your friends and families, by email and via Facebook and Twitter. Some parent in the Bronx may hear about the Backpack Giveaway and be forever grateful for your part in ensuring his child’s success in the coming school year, and who knows, perhaps in life itself.
Back to School Health Fairs: free backpacks, health screenings, health info, and lots of fun things to do!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 4:00 PM– 6:00 PMSlattery Park Valentine Ave. & E. 183rd Street, Bronx, NYC Rain Date: August 27, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014 4:00 PM – 6:00 PMSt. James Park Jerome Avenue & E. 192nd Street, Bronx, NYC Rain Date: August 28, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014 2:00 PM – 6:00 PMCrotona Park E. 173rd Street & Fulton Ave., Bronx, NYC Rain Date: August 29, 2014
Note: Child must be there in person to receive a backpack and there are limited supplies. For more information, please contact Senator Rivera’s office at 718-933-2034.
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