Don’s spirit seems to be alive here in Loudoun County.
This week, one of our main stories features several different organizations and individuals who have supported efforts to ensure that students in our region receive every possible benefit as we approach the 2022-2023 school year, by pooling their resources to donate backpacks and other school supplies. .
To say that such efforts are necessary is an understatement. Of course, there would be a need for readers like this every year, but with inflation rates soaring, it seems more important than ever.
According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, the average American family with school-aged children can expect to spend $864 on school supplies this year. While that’s an increase of only about $15 from last year, the report says, it’s a drastic increase from 2019 — an increase of nearly $170.
The same report says nearly 40% of American families said they cut back on other expenses to ensure they have enough to spend on back-to-school supplies.
Many families in our area are probably feeling the pinch, but for those who were already struggling to make ends meet before inflation erupted, it’s easy to see what kind of trouble this could cause.
This is what makes the work of groups like BetterALife and One Hope Ministries so important. According to our reports, the groups have teamed up to donate 345 backpacks and 500 meals to people in need in Leesburg, and have run a similar campaign in Purcellville, as well as another planned for Sterling on the day this issue comes out. at newsstands.
Not to be outdone, Tree of Life Ministries has planned their own backpacks on August 20 in Leesburg and August 27 in Purcellville.
And it’s not just backpacks; Loudoun United, as you will see in our sports pages, have planned a back-to-school party during their August 20 game against Atlanta United II, where they will be accepting donations specifically for hygiene items like deodorant, shampoo, menstrual supplies and other items.
As noted above, with families cutting back on other purchases to afford back-to-school items, they’re likely to need help with hygiene items like these. And that’s something the football club seem to be aware of.
“As we kick off our back to school party, it’s important to note the sacrifices many families have to make to make ends meet while sending their children to school,” said Doug Raftery, Commercial Director of Loudoun. United FC. driving history. “We are doing our part to help those in our own backyard.”
Perhaps most notable, however, is the work of Ryan Janeske, a sophomore at Stone Bridge High School, who for seven years now has been running his own back-to-school campaign, dubbed “Kids Helping Kids.”
This year, she was able to deliver 139 backpacks full of supplies, thanks in large part to the donation of 87 backpacks from the Vera Bradley Factory Store in Leesburg.
“Principals and Parent Liaisons are so overwhelmed with gratitude,” Janaske said. “It’s really cool to see. There are quite a few students who don’t have backpacks and supplies, so that makes me really grateful and I’m able to do that.
While the work of all these groups is admirable, the fact that Janaske realized the importance of service from an early age is truly impressive.
The fact that all of these groups have come together to meet the needs of our students is to be commended. It is important for us to remember that our children are our future, so it is imperative that we prepare them as much as possible for their future.