Back to school is around the corner, a time of excitement for a new school year, school supplies, and clothes. For many vulnerable students in our community this time of year isn’t filled with joy as they worry about where their next meal will come from and how they will get by without being noticed as different again this year. The first annual Stock the Lockers campaign, generously backed by Staples, aims to raise $50,000 for the Nanaimo and Ladysmith Schools Foundation Student Support Fund to purchase school supplies and other necessities, including food, clothing, bus tickets, and sports and music fees throughout the school year. The Foundation’s Student Support Fund helps students living in poverty to have the tools they need to succeed in school.
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district ranks among the highest in British Columbia in terms of poverty-stricken students. Children living below the poverty line are the hardest hit and often go without food and basic necessities on a regular basis. “We are very excited to partner with Staples on this campaign,” said Erin van Steen, Executive Director, NLSF. “During the previous school year, the Foundation has been able to assist many students in our school district with basic needs all through the generous support of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith community. “
The Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation initiated the Student Support Fund in 2009 in all of the local high schools as a way of helping teachers and counsellors to immediately respond to emergency needs of vulnerable students. It is a cash fund, provided by many local individuals and businesses. It allows front-line staff in the schools to respond immediately and confidentially to the many and various needs of students from vulnerable families.
Local businesses and service clubs are encouraged to give generously to help children in poverty. Donations can be made at any Staples location in Nanaimo or Ladysmith at the checkout. You can also make a donation via cheque to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation or online at www.nlsf.ca. For more information please contact Erin O’Reilly at 250-713-0489 or Erin van Steen at 250-753-4074.