The organization wants to distribute 563 backpacks on Aug. 17
West Island Mission's employees want to be able to distribute 563 backpacks filled with school supplies to West Island children in need on Aug. 17. Chronicle photo François Lemieux
West Island Mission is getting ready to hold its annual back to school distribution on Saturday and needs your help to make this effort a success again.
The organization will serve 269 families at the occasion, a total of 1,189 residents including 563 children, numbers that represent a 55 per cent augmentation compared to last year. The main objective is to distribute a backpack filled with school supplies to every child and food to the families as well. Every family will receive fruits, vegetables, milk, bread and toiletry items.
The Mission needs to obtain $15,000 to be able to carry out its Aug. 17 operation. Every $20 donation buys a backpack. President Wendy Gariepy said last week that the objective had not been met yet. She says this is the most important time of year for the organization. She claims many families who do not require assistance during the rest of the year seek help during back to school.
"At back to school time, there are lots of expenses for families. They have to buy new clothes, supplies and all the things for school on top of being able to buy groceries. If a family is tight with money without school, when this time of year comes, it's so expensive for them," she said.
Gariepy stresses out the importance the backpack full of new school supplies has on children's self-esteem and ability to succeed in class.
"If children go back to school with new items, then they are the same all the other children in their class. It gives them better self-esteem and they do better in school. There have been studies on that and it's proven that they will do better in school if their self-esteem is higher," she said.
Donations can be made online by accessing the direct donation link https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/2385.
One can send a cheque to the organization's postal address: 139 Labrosse, Pointe Claire, Qc H9R 1A3. A tax receipt will be emitted for every donation superior to $20. For more information, contact the Mission at 514-912-6813.