Over 1,900 backpacks are still needed for students in Olmsted County before school starts.

Tis the season of moms walking around Target with school shopping lists in their hands while attempting to find the last green, wide-ruled notebook at the bottom of a box.  If you walk by the back-to-school section of the store you'll see scores of stressed-out moms that are attempting to finish up the list without spending a fortune.  Unfortunately for some families, purchasing supplies and backpacks for their kids' school year isn't even a possibility, and need help.  This year, over 1,900 backpacks full of supplies are still needed for kids in our community.

United Way of Olmsted County
United Way of Olmsted County

This is Rochester, a city of many million-dollar homes but also where "affordable housing" is a marketing term.

I know "poverty" might be hard to believe because this is Rochester, Minnesota.  This is the place where we have multi-million dollar homes being built everywhere and the very famous Mayo Clinic employs a good portion of our town.  But not everyone in Rochester is living in those homes.  In fact, we have families that are struggling to put food on the table every day and the pandemic just made it even harder for them.

Our homeless population is one that many say isn't a problem but I just walked through The Landing, the day center in Rochester for those experiencing homelessness, and the numerous faces that I said "hi" to would convince you of the opposite.

United Way of Olmsted County
United Way of Olmsted County

United Way of Olmsted County shared the news with me recently that more than 1,900 backpacks filled with supplies are still needed for kids in our area.  Unfortunately, time is running out and the deadline to help out these kids is less than 2 weeks away.

The price of 5 coffees will help a child in Rochester have the supplies they need for school.

For just $20, or the price of about 5 delicious coffee drinks, you can help make sure a child in our area has all the school supplies on their first day of school.  Click here if you are ready to help.

“For many families, the experience of buying school supplies symbolizes the excitement of the new school year. It's a fresh start. For families struggling to get by or living in poverty, school supply lists represent the stress of another unmet need. United Way’s Running Start for School helps Rochester Public Schools meet a few of those needs and remove a little of that stress for children and families who want to experience the same fresh start with each school year. We are so grateful to be able to provide school supplies for our families with Running Start!” ” says Melissa Brandt, Transitions and Fostering Connections Coordinator with Rochester Public Schools.

Who do I contact if my family is in need of school supplies?

Families that are looking to receive school supplies should reach out to their kids' schools directly.  You can find the contact info for specific schools at the Rochester Public Schools website here.

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