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Backpacks for Back to School

Posted on September 10, 2022 in: Catholic Charities News

Backpacks for Back to School

Backpacks Containing School Supplies or Weekend Food Distributed throughout the Community

I hope you all had a great summer and had the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, a day at the shore, a fun family outing, or even journeyed to one of your favorite vacation spots. 

My husband, daughter and I enjoyed lots of beach days and barbecues. Now that the fall is approaching, I am sure many of your children and grandchildren are getting so excited for that first day of school. 

I remember shopping for school supplies with my mom, and picking out my favorite backpack, lunch box, new markers to create the perfect drawing for our refrigerator and grocery shopping with her to pick out my lunches and snacks. 

Saint Benedict said, “Whenever you begin any good work you should first of all make a most pressing appeal to Christ our Lord to bring it to perfection.” Appeal can be defined as a serious or urgent request, typically to the public. 

Your prayers for our students are always appreciated, and so is your continued commitment to our ministries, which has been evident through your kind and generous gifts to the 2022 Annual Catholic Appeal. 

All of us, together, assist our ACA supported ministries with their good works as “One Faith, One Family.” 

Catholic Charities, an extremely important ACA supported ministry, collects backpacks and school supplies for families in need in New London, Windham, Middlesex and Tolland counties.  They also collaborate with Norwich Public Schools to help students who need supplies.  

Their clients sign up to receive a backpack full of school supplies for the new school year.  They love to see the faces of all the children when they get their new backpacks. 

One client was so happy to receive backpacks for her grandchild, and stated, “Thank you so much for all you do to help.”

Another incredibly important ACA ministry is Saint Vincent de Paul, Middletown. 

Peter Keast, Director of Special Programs, Community Relations and Development recently met with a Middletown High School special education teacher at their food pantry. She has been buying food for her students for years, spending hundreds of dollars each year on snacks like Pop Tarts and Nutrigrain bars.  She buys multiple cases of water every week.  She keeps a stock in her office, as she doesn’t have a classroom of her own. 

Dozens of students come to her throughout the week.  Two years ago, SVDP Middletown started a backpack program containing weekend food for students. The response was so positive that SVDP invited all of the seven public elementary schools plus St. John Paul II School in Middletown as well.  All signed up.  

At the end of the year, they were providing just shy of five pounds of fresh or shelf-stable weekend nutrition to 337 students, well over 1,500 pounds a week through the school system. All of the school administrators want them back this year, and surveys from parents are heartwarming. 

At St. Vincent de Paul Place, Middletown, they have a mission statement of only four words, which says it all: Meeting Needs – Offering Hope.  

God bless our students, teachers, faculty and staff as they begin the 2022-23 school year, and God bless you, our Annual Catholic Appeal supporters, for helping our ministries fulfill their missions and provide spiritual, educational and physical help to those in need. 

Our ACA supported ministries are certainly blessed to receive your generous assistance. Your financial support of the 2022 Annual Catholic Appeal along with your prayers continue to be extremely important to all of our ministries. 

To make a monetary contribution to our 2022 ACA “One Faith, One Family,” please go online to www.norwichdiocesedevelopment.org or contact Heather Harris, campaign manager, at (860) 886-1928 ext. 111. Thank you so much for your generosity. Stay safe and be well.

By Gina Foster

Catholic Charities
Diocese of Norwich

331 Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360