Each One, Reach One engages 400 students
An annual back-to-school campaign has brought clothes and school supplies to 400 new pupils, the organiser said yesterday.
But Gina Spence, a community activist and founder of the Each One, Reach One campaign, said that there were still another 300 youngsters on the waiting list for supplies.
She told The Royal Gazette: “The turnout was great, but the demand was greater than the supply.
“We had more families needing assistance than the amount of funds we had raised.”
The charity campaign, which runs every year, offers cash, clothes and school supplies to families who struggled to make enough money for the coming school year.
Sign-up and donations run throughout the month of August, with donation drives often remaining open well into the school year.
Ms Spence, who gave away back-to-school care packages at CedarBridge Academy on Saturday, said that this year’s campaign raised $2,800 for 700 youngsters.
She added that Gibbons Company, a sponsor for Each One, Reach One, gave away a $10 gift card to their store for every child in a family receiving the care package.
Ms Spence said that clothes were the most in-demand, with white shirts being the highest supplied because of their near-universal use in uniforms, while a variety in sizes was a shortcoming this year.
She said that the demand over the years had grown because of the economic struggles brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Spence added that, although the pandemic was over, the full effects were still growing.
She explained: “There’s still a lot of people who have not recovered from Covid-19 — they’re working, but they’re working less hours, or they’re not working at all.
“I think that now, as a community, we are starting to see the real fallout of Covid.”
Ms Spence added: “We know that the cost of living has increased, and the trickle-down effect is exactly what we saw — people are spending more but making less.
“The first week of the launch, the website crashed — there were so many people trying to register in such a short amount of time.
“There was a much more diverse group of students — you had local children, guest workers, children who were going to public school. There were people from all walks of life.”
But Ms Spence said: “Everyone who went to CedarBridge Academy received something.”
• To register to receive a school uniform or learn more about the campaign, visit ginaspenceproductions.com or call 296-0016