Backpack Program Allows Single Mother to Provide More for Her Family

3 childrens with backpack
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The Salvation Army’s Back-to-School Backpack Program can serve as a much-needed support for parents when it comes to ensuring their children have all the required school supplies, ahead of the upcoming academic year.

Mary (not her real name) has signed her children up for this program for the past three years. She heard about it during a visit to her local food bank. She registered through a Salvation Army church in Nova Scotia.

Mary has found the program to be community engaging and extremely helpful.

“It is wonderful. The last time we did it, they were giving out Freezies and people were hugging.  You could just really feel it was a whole lot more than a backpack being given out,” Mary said.

“If it wasn’t for this program, we would have to give up something.”

Having to take care of three children aged 10, seven and six, Mary was spending a total of $600 on school supplies for her family. She says that the backpack program allows her to provide more things for her sons.

“If it wasn’t for this program, we would have to give up something. Whether it be not being able to go to a community event because we couldn’t afford gas, or maybe eating less because we had to buy school supplies,” she added. “With the help of this program, we can now order pizza sometimes, something that we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise. Those little extra things mean a whole lot to children.”

The backpack program has also helped Mary from a personal aspect. It showed her that she is not alone and that there are people in her community who care and are willing to help.

“They went to school and told others that there are people out there that care about them.”

“I’m a single mom, and I felt very alone while I was racking up my credit cards. Programs such as backpacks show you that people care and that you’re not alone,” Mary shared. “I think a lot of people shut themselves away from people when they’re struggling and so this is a venue where you can go out, get some of your needs met, meet people and maybe pull out of that shell that you may have been in.”

In the coming days, Mary plans to register for the backpack program once again. This event has not only been a help to her but also an enjoyable experience for her children who are always excited to receive their backpacks and school supplies.

“It is super amazing to watch the children’s expressions and how they interact with others. They just loved their backpacks. They went to school and told others that there are people out there that care about them and that they got pencils, glue, and all sorts of stuff. That makes the children very happy. Those are memories that we will never forget,” Mary said.

By Juan Romero