Public school education is generally considered to be free, but as any parent knows, there are many extra costs that parents are asked to pay so that their child can have the best learning experience.
For families facing hardships, these extra costs can be difficult to meet.
In a recent survey, the Salvation Army found that 42 per cent of relief clients could not afford the school supplies needed for their child in public education.
‘Pack to School’ is a local initiative of Thrive Community Church, Caringbah.
The program supplies back packs and school supplies for students in need to begin their school year.
Over the past few years, Thrive has been able to supply more than 400 backpacks, with supplies, to kids in need in the Sutherland Shire.
The children in need are identified and packs distributed by local refuges, chaplains, counsellors and the schools themselves.
This year the program aims to raise more than $7,000 to supply more than 100 back packs and supplies.
“Despite the wealth in the Sutherland Shire, there are families doing it tough,” Thrive Senior Pastor Mike Hardie said.
“Backpacks, pencil cases, pens and workbooks can cost parents hundreds of dollars at the start of the school year. We want to make sure that the families who can’t afford this, get the same opportunities to start to the school year with dignity.
“After all, every kid just wants to fit in and be accepted.
“One parent whose child received a backpack last year broke down in tears with gratitude because really, no parent wants their child to go without.”
The program has been generously assisted in the past by companies such as Office Works, Ocean and Earth, Rip Curl and SwellRaisers. Their help has meant that the kids are gifted with the latest gear to walk into school with.
Assistant Pastor Brad Plush said: “This is an opportunity for us to give to those who need it most over this holiday period. It’s always amazing to hear the stories of how blessed and valued the kids and their families feel. They literally walk into school on that first day with their chest out, feeling like they belong and ready to take on the year.”
Every dollar donated will go directly to purchasing back packs and supplies. Donations are tax deductible.
- If you would like to assist with helping Thrive give students a hand up this year, you can find the donation link at thrivecommunity.com or by selecting the ‘Thrive Local Impact’ tab at www.careworks.org.au