Through working with families made homeless through domestic violence, The School Project found that children often end up with their mums or dads in refuges or emergency accommodation with nothing but the clothes on their backs. This makes schooling extremely difficult as they flee without their school bags, lunch boxes, books and all other essential school supplies.
On April 28th, we teamed up with The School Project and for every purchase made in stores and online , we matched the value in products to help support children experiencing homelessness right across the country.
We are so thrilled to announce that we were able to contribute the following to The School Project to help them towards their goal;
Over 1,000 Notebooks, Journals, Planners and Notebook Sets
Over 1,000 Pens, Pen Packs and Pencils
Over 2,000 Stationery Accessories like Adhesive Notes, Clips, Staplers, Tape Dispensers, Hole Punchers and more
Over 1,500 DIY items like Stickers, Craft Books and Inspiring Quote Cards
600 Pencil Cases and Pouches
Over 300 Tote Bags (perfect for carrying library or school books)
Over 200 lunch boxes and lunch bags
To find out more about the wonderful work The School Project do, we caught up with their Director, Donna Stolzenberg.
Tell us a little about what The School Project is and how it came to be
The School Project is an initiative that supports children experiencing homelessness to have everything they need to continue their education. We provide brand new backpacks, lunch boxes, drink bottles, and pencil cases filled with new pencils and pens, plus pens, rulers, sharpeners and rubbers. On top of these we also supply work books, note books and scrap books. The bags for older kids have geometry sets and calculators in them. We make sure the kids have everything they need for school, but also to complete their homework. In addition to school items we also make sure kids are equipped with camping gear for school camps as well as everything they need for swimming lessons should they be attending those. We feel it’s important for kids to participate in all school activities. The project came about after a couple of other initiatives I had started connected me to services that look after the welfare of women fleeing domestic and family violence. I had noticed that the families seemed to have nothing with them. Being a foster parent, I asked one of the workers one day what the kids were doing for school items and if anyone was helping them? She said they had nothing for them and that there weren’t any avenues for them to get proper school items. I started TSP to help out, and so far we’ve helped over 1000 kids.
What will the donation of product mean for the kids you support?
The donation means so much. It’s more than just the practicality of each item. It’s about inclusion and just being able to progress like the other kids. Imagine going to school with nothing. You feel different, you look different and your outcomes are different. It’s heart-breaking. Donations mean that these kids can have everything the other kids have. It means they don’t look different, they don’t stand out. But most importantly it means they don’t miss out. These kids have so many unsettling things going on in their lives that it’s just nice for them to have one less thing to worry about. And let’s face it, it’s kikki.K, this will make the kids feel extra special!
How can people get involved in supporting The School Project?
We don’t have any type of funding, so we rely on donations of products but also financial donations to keep us running. Fundraisers are a great way to get involved and to help keep us running. We’re all volunteers so no donations go towards wages or salaries. Products are also very needed but after this incredible donation we probably won’t be needing many of those for a while! We often get people asking us if they can hand the bags out, but we don’t work quite like that. We get a call from an agency to tell us there’s a new family in their care and we make up the bags the agency needs as they need them. We then pass them on to the agency to hand to the kids directly. We never meet the kids. We don’t need to, and their privacy is of utmost importance. People can also be involved in packing days. We can take groups of between 3-10 people to pack the school bags for us, so we have them ready to be handed out when those calls come through. Raising awareness by liking our Facebook posts and sharing them is another good way to get the word out there too! Anything really. It all helps.
Find out more about The School Project here