Buckner Rio Grande Valley helped 800 local children prepare to go back to school with new backpacks, school supplies and shoes. The families are involved with the Buckner Family Hope Center at Peñitas.
For a family struggling financially, the gift of a backpack, school supplies and new shoes is a huge relief considering the average American family plans to spend $696.70 on back-to-school shopping this year, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. Additional back-to-school costs typically include health check-ups, immunization and haircuts.
“School starts on August 26 here in Peñitas and the La Joya Independent School District, and in order to help families who may be struggling financially, our community has come together to provide 800 children with new backpacks, school supplies and shoes,” said Diego Silva, Director of the Buckner Family Hope Center at Peñitas.
The event included tables with community vendors sharing information with parents regarding local services like financial management and health care.
“We are extremely thankful for our community partners coming out today to help provide families with more information about their services related to health and finance, which they can also access at the Buckner Family Hope Center,” Silva said.
Families attending also had the opportunity to learn more about Buckner Children and Family Services’ available programs and services in the Rio Grande Valley, including STARS, the Business Entrepreneurship Incubator class for small businesses, economic strengthening classes, ESL and GED classes, and access to Buckner Family Coaches.
“This event serves as an engagement opportunity, as we see not just the 800 children but about a total of 1,200 people including the parents,” Silva added. “Usually about 50 percent of those registered for our backpack distributions are new to Buckner, so we are able to introduce them to all of our available programs and services in place to help strengthen families.”
The shoes were provided by Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls®, the largest humanitarian aid project of Buckner International.