County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced that Westchester County is once again teaming up with The Sharing Shelf, a program of the Family Services of Westchester, to collect and distribute school supplies so that children in need can start the school year ready to learn.
“Since launching our backpack partnership, we have helped give vital school supplies to thousands of children in Westchester County,” said Astorino. “As always, our goal is to help as many children as we can.”
Backpacks to School is a collaboration between The Sharing Shelf and the county’s Department of Social Services. Local businesses have also opened their doors and will serve as drop-off sites for donations.
“The Sharing Shelf is proud to offer this program for the sixth year,” said Deborah Blatt, of the Sharing Shelf. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from so many individuals, community groups and businesses in Westchester, all committed to providing low-income children with the tools they need to start the school year on the right foot.”
Donations can be made online at Fsw.org/backpacks or brought to the Family Services of Westchester’s warehouse on 47 Purdy Ave., Port Chester. Volunteers can also help pack the backpacks and deliver them to the schools on the following days:
- Packing on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2 to 5 p.m. at the Broken Bow Brewery in Tuckahoe
- Packing on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Sharing Shelf in Port Chester
- Distribution on Thursday, Aug. 24, Tuesday, Aug. 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Family Services of Westchester’s warehouse, 47 Purdy Ave. in Port Chester. Volunteers should sign-up by emailing Thesharingshelf@fsw.org. All Volunteers must be at least 14 years old.
“Each year we have been able to serve more and more students in need,” said Susan B. Wayne, president and CEO of Family Services of Westchester. “Thanks to the support of the individuals who donate their time, the corporations that make financial contributions, and the County Executive office’s logistical expertise, we can ensure that all Westchester children arrive at school ready to learn.”
For more information about Backpacks to School, contact Blatt at 305-5950 or Thesharingshelf@fsw.org; or Joseph D. Kenner of the Department of Social Services at 995-3287 JKenner@westchestergov.com.
Astorino also encouraged fathers and school leaders to save the date for this year’s Dads Take Your Child to School Day, taking place Sept. 17. The event serves as a kickoff for fathers to be more involved in their children’s schooling all throughout the year, offering opportunities for dads to sign up to volunteer, serve on PTAs, receive informational mailings and more. Ask your school about any special activities planned for the day. The countywide coordination is part of Astorino’s #DadBeThere fatherhood initiative, which aims to actively engage fathers in all aspects of their children’s lives.
“It’s a fact: kids do better in school when dads are involved,” Astorino said. “Show your kids you care. Be there. And keep that momentum going all throughout the school year to help them succeed.”