General News

Deputy Mayor Anderson a huge supporter of Bell backpack initiative, DCAFS benefits

August 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments


“Every kid deserves to walk into school on that first day on an equal playing field.”

Those were the words of Jennifer Moore, Executive Director of Dufferin Child and Family Services, last Friday (Aug. 23) as she was on hand in Shelburne to accept a donation of 50 new backpacks, jam packed with school supplies, to be dished out to under privileged children in the community. 

This marks the second year of the initiative in Dufferin County. Shelburne Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson, with the help of several other local residents who wish to remain anonymous, brought the Bell Canada Backpacks for Kids program to the community last year. That successful venture, which saw 25 new backpacks donated from Bell Canada to DCAFS, laid the foundations for this second “amazing” offering.

“The donations we have received this year are more than double that which we received last year, so that really is incredible. It’s amazing,” Deputy Mayor Anderson stated. “I think this partnership really shows what kind of a community we have here. It shows that the people of Shelburne aren’t just looking out for themselves, but looking to help others too.”

The nationwide program was first launched back in 2003, as an initiative of the Bell Aviant Pioneer Volunteers. The backpacks are distributed based on need identified by community partners, which range from school districts, food banks, family support services and community centres.

Speaking to the Free Press, Ms. Moore noted “the need certainly isn’t diminishing in our community”. 

“There is a significant need here in Dufferin County. As children head back to school, there are lots of expenses for families. There are many people in our community who work two or three part-time jobs in order to make ends meet, and even with that it’s still very difficult to pay basic bills,” Ms. Moore stated. “Having additional expenses like backpacks and school supplies can be a real burden for families, so it’s nice to be able to rely on the community for support like this so that we can help these people out.”

With the backpacks officially handed over to DCAFS last week, Ms. Moore noted she and her staff would be busy identifying families in the community that could use the extra assistance before kids head back to school next week. 

“We will have these in stock now, so, as well as people we have already identified, we can give back backpacks out on an as-needed basis,” Ms. Moore said. 

“We have a good sense when we’re working with folks for what their need is.”

Deputy Mayor Anderson went on record to thank Bell Canada for “another incredible donation”.

“We just want to ensure that no kid is left behind, that they have all the necessary things they need to succeed at school,” Mr. Anderson stated. “It may seem small, but this is really going to make a positive difference in the lives of these children.”

He concluded, “This captures perfectly the sentiment that we are so proud of in Shelburne. We are one community, and we step up to provide help and assistance to those who need it.”



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