Back-to-school with equal footing!

Going back to school is an exciting time for students of all ages; but the anticipation of a new year, a new teacher and a new challenge can also make any child a little nervous. Their fears are often calmed and even converted to confidence, however, when children are “armed” with new backpacks, a variety of school supplies, the “latest” in clothing, and brand new shoes.

These “basic” items might help instill the self-assurance to tackle a new school year, but most homeless parents are unable to provide them. The result is sure to be kids who are unprepared and insecure about walking into their classroom, adding additional stress to the already-stressful situations of being homeless and going back to school.  Playing the cycle out further, these feelings of embarrassment at being “different” than the other kids can lead to poor performance in class, social anxiety and, perhaps, even dropping out of school, etc.

Thanks to our generous community, the kids who call the Coalition “home” will start the school year on equal footing with other Central Florida students. Florida Blood Centers, Hilton Grand Vacations and Sweetwater Episcopal Academy are donating backpacks filled to the brim with school supplies.  Holler Honda completed its “Christmas in July” drive and will provide each of our kids with a new shirt and jeans; and the Sonny’s Bar-B-Q “Back-to-School” drive to collect new clothing for our kids will be in full-swing until August 20, 2010. 

Knowing that a full stomach is sure to fuel the brain and help one learn their ABC’s, Holler Honda and the College Park Presbyterian Church are providing breakfast at our two campuses on the first day of school.

We are grateful beyond words to these businesses and organizations!

How can you help?   

If you’re wondering how you can help our students start the year off right, we’ve got two great suggestions for you!

  • Support the Sonny’s Bar-B-Q drive (and enjoy their delicious food while you’re at it!) by dropping off new duds for our homeless kids at these locations by August 20th: St. Cloud, S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka, Sanford, Eustis, Orange City, Clermont, Winter Park, Alafaya Trail, Oviedo and Lee Vista.
  • Help outfit our kids’ growing feet with the donation of a Payless Shoes Gift Card.  As we’re prone to do, we’ll aim to double your dollar by buying on BOGO days!  Contact for information.

The new school year should be an exciting time for all students, homeless or not. Thanks to all who are helping us level the playing field!