While retailers see an opportunity akin to Christmas in August, for some local families, back-to-school shopping is a daunting challenge. And with school districts trying to find ways to trim their budgets, students' supply lists are getting longer. In many cases, teachers are now asking kids to supply their own pencils, paper, notebooks, glue sticks and even boxes of tissues.
For big families, filling backpacks represents a significant investment. But help is on the way. Three years ago a local mom began collecting donations to ensure struggling students had a little extra back-to-school spending money. The project snowballed and now, with support from the Christian Center of Park City and the Tanger Outlet Mall at Kimball Junction, aids more than 200 kids.
The Christian Center is currently accepting donations for the program, dubbed Back to School Basics, in hopes of providing as many as 285 students with $150 each. Then, on Friday, Aug. 10, volunteers will meet at Tanger Outlets for a supervised shopping spree with students referred by Park City School District.
The money will go a long way, thanks to a special discount being offered by the Outlets and each child will have his or her own personal shopper to guarantee they make thrifty choices.
It may seem like a small gesture to contribute $25 or $50 to help a child replace a worn hand-me-down with a stylish jacket, or to purchase a durable weatherproof backpack, but to a child whose self esteem may already be comprised by poverty or other difficult family circumstances, it might make the difference between looking forward to new opportunities and giving up.
As back-to-school advertisements increase in frequency over the next couple of weeks, take a moment to log on to the Christian Center's website and consider making a small donation. Thanks to the Back to School Basics volunteers and the shops at the Tanger Outlet Mall, that small contribution will go a long way toward starting students off on the road to success at school this year. For more information log on to http://www.ccofpc.org/what-we-do/programs/back-to-school-basics/