Back-to-school campaign launch
Community activist Gina Spence will launch her annual back-to-school campaign next week to provide needy families with uniforms and education supplies.
Gina Spence Productions has again teamed up with Gibbons Company to urge residents to donate “gently used” uniforms to help children across the island at the start of the new school year.
The Each One Reach One initiative will see scores of families provided with school uniforms, bags, supplies and also free haircuts.
“We have been receiving calls from families since last month inquiring about how they can register their children to get help and assistance,” Ms Spence said.
“This is unprecedented as we usually start to get calls mid-August. Many of the children we aim to help have lost parents to road fatalities, murders and illness like cancer.”
Ms Spence has been organising the back-to-school campaign for more than 15 years. Last year the campaign received more than 1,000 school items and financial donations that were passed on to families.
One of last year’s recipient’s, Nekesha Holdipp, said the initiative had helped her family “incredibly”.
“No one prepares for such a loss suffered as this and children are left with depleted resources,” she said.
“This initiative has not only given us much appreciated material support, as children grow so fast, but also let us know that the children, the real victims, are not forgotten, and this has provided a comfort.”
Gina Spence Productions volunteers will distribute the uniforms to nominated families on September 2 in the Washington Mall when school supplies and also free haircuts will be provided.
Ms Spence added: “My reason for doing it is to provide parents with a support system to assist with the cost of purchasing school uniforms.
“I was a single parent raising three children and it was very difficult having to buy school uniforms every year. In Bermuda it’s mandatory to wear a uniform; if you don’t have the money your child cannot go to school.
“We understand the importance of education and want to do our part to ensure that every child is prepared feeling good and ready for the first day at school.
“We also know when children do not have the essentials they are bullied, teased and feel sad and unvalued. It’s the little things that mean the most. We can not do it alone, every donations helps and makes a difference in a child’s life. One hundred per cent of the funds received go towards the campaign. No donation is too big or too small.”
To nominate children to receive school uniform or make a financial donation go to ginaspenceproductions.com. The uniform drop off at Gibbons Company and registration deadline will be August 31.
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