Posted by: instanthausfrau | August 11, 2007

Back to School with Project Cool.

1,866 homeless children and teens in King County need supplies for the coming school year. While many of us look forward to “back to school” time (picking out new clothing and supplies and gearing up for another year of learning), many children are left behind. First days of school can be jittery in the best of circumstances — children without homes face many more barriers to learning. You can help them enter school with dignity and new supplies, keeping them caught up with their more fortunate classmates.

Project Cool for Back-to-School workes to give homeless children a head start — new backpacks full of age-appropriate school supplies and a gift certificate for new shoes to start the school year off right. These backpacks are distributed through homeless shelters and transitional housing programs throughout King County. I’ve been lucky enough to see the amazing effect these backpacks can have — such a simple thing, and kids go from facing the school year with embarassment and shame to having pride in what they’re bringing. But Project Cool can’t do this without you.

Donations of new school supplies for Project Cool can be dropped off at the Solid Ground offices, 1501 N. 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103. (Have questions about what’s needed? Talk to Victoria Meissner at Solid Ground 206.694.6732.)

Financial contributions can be mailed to:
Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness
Attention Project Cool
77 South Washington Street
Seattle, WA 98105

If you have something to spare this year, consider helping a family who doesn’t. This can be a great project to do with your kids — when you do your own back to school shopping for the year, why not have your child pick out an extra set of what they’re needing? Even if it’s simply a notebook, or even a packet of subject dividers, these supplies can make a difference. Talk together about why a family might be homeless or unable to purchase school supplies for themselves (some very general tips for talking to children about homelessness can be found at the United Way website here). This is a great opportunity to find out what your child is thinking about the issue, and to help build empathy for others while making positive change. Drop off the supplies at the Solid Ground offices together, and if possible talk with staff there about any questions or concerns you weren’t able to answer for your child. Through small actions, we can make a huge difference.

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