Back-to-school supplies boost morale during pandemic

Aug 17, 2020

The start of the 2020 school year is filled with uncertainty. Parents are stressed about how they will accommodate their children’s distance learning. Kids are anxious about starting the school year learning at their kitchen table instead of inside a classroom.  

Amid this tension, The Salvation Army Northern Division and our supporters are here to help by providing thousands of families with the supplies they need to start the school year right. Throughout August, our service centers in Minnesota and North Dakota will distribute backpacks, notebooks, crayons, rulers, and other supplies made possible by kettle donations and year-round gifts to The Salvation Army.   

“Our back-to-school efforts will help ease the financial burden that many families are experiencing due to COVID-19,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “These school supplies will also boost morale by helping kids and parents to wrap their heads around back-to-school at a time when many of them still won’t be leaving their homes.”    

In the Twin Cities alone, each of The Salvation Army’s seven metro area operation centers will distribute school supplies to about 500 families. That includes the Brooklyn Park Salvation Army, which on Wednesday hosted a drive-thru distribution for pre-registered families (pictured). In addition to distributing backpacks, pens, binders, markers, and other supplies, staff and volunteers also gave out snack bags filled with back-to-school favorites such as peanut butter, jelly, mac and cheese, chips, and more.

These supplies were a godsend to a mother named Lauren, who stopped by to pick up back-to-school essentials for her two young kids. Money is tight for Lauren and her husband, both of whom were laid off due to COVID-19.

"Everything is chaotic," Lauren said. "We didn't know how we were going to afford getting our kids everything they need. We appreciate this service so, so much."

Thousands of other families with similar stories are feeling the same kind of pressure, and The Salvation Army is proud to serve them. 

“There are a lot of unknowns about the school year and what it will look like,” said Auxiliary Captain Josh Polanco, leader of the Brooklyn Park Salvation Army. “We want people to know that The Salvation Army will continue to reinvent ourselves to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you. 

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