Think back to the end of the summer holidays when you were a kid. You probably remember the annual ritual of back-to-school shopping. Whether you were dreading the impending school year or looking forward to learning new things, picking out new clothes and filling that shiny new backpack with fresh supplies made you feel more optimistic about exchanging fun-filled summer days for textbooks and tests. Of course, not every kid is lucky enough to come from a family that can shower them with new things every school year. That's where we can step up as a community. Once again, Christian Center of Park City (CCPC) is leading the charge to make sure local kids start the school year on the right foot, with the 7th annual Back 2 School Basics returning to The Tanger Outlets on Friday, August 10, from 7 - 10 a.m.
As in previous years, the Back 2 School Basics event provides underserved local children with new clothes, shoes, and a backpack for school -- all provided at discounted prices from the Tanger Outlets. A $100 donation sponsors one child and, for every two kids sponsored, the Tanger Outlets will sponsor an additional child. Every dollar donated goes directly to the kids and there is no minimum (or maximum) donation. CCPC is taking online donations through August 8.
The number of kids who show up for school without adequate clothes and supplies may be higher than you think. According to the Park City Education Association, 24 percent of local public school children (more than 1,000 students) meet the low-income criteria to qualify for free and reduced lunches. Given the growing need, CCPC is expanding its efforts with the goal of sponsoring 750 children (up from the 550 last year).
"Our hope is to provide for these hundreds of students through our Back 2 School Basics program by removing the distraction of ill-fitting and inadequate clothing," says Pete Stoughton, Director of Programs at CCPC. "We believe every student should start school feeling confident and prepared for a successful school year by having adequate and quality clothing, shoes and supplies." According to Stoughton, teachers notice a marked difference in the performance of children, reporting that kids with new outfits show confidence, a more positive attitude, and improved focus on their school work.
In addition to donating, you can also help CCPC by volunteering the day of the event. The non-profit is in need of a small army of people (200 to be exact) to take the kids on their shopping spree. It's a great way to get a first-hand view of how much these kids benefit from a helping hand. You can sign-up for volunteering online here.