To provide hygiene products to the homeless/needy children of North Port which will improve self-esteem and enable them to remain in school, clean and well groomed.
They are mostly invisible students. They suffer quietly. They walk through the halls like other students. They attend classes and appear studious. They hang onto the idea that all students come to appreciate; going to school and finishing school is key to any kind of bright future.
What is not understood at first sight is the struggle these students undergo every single day of their lives. They are homeless. Nothing is permanent in their lives. Some have transitioned through eight to ten different temporary dwellings and schools in less than one academic year.
They ask for nothing…even though most of them have not even had the simple dignity of starting their day with a washed face or brushed teeth.
Just in the North Port area there are hundreds of such students. You have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and the community we live in now.
Help the Back Pack Angels, a North Port-based group of grandmothers mothers and teachers, who are providing students, identified as homeless by their counselors, with backpacks containing toiletries to meet their daily hygiene needs.
Call (813)-758-2805 right now to make a difference with these quietly suffering students.
In the fall of 2010, there were seven ladies who saw the homeless tragedy before them and took personal responsibility to do something about it. Co-founders Jan Huegen (Past President), Diane Picataggio (Past President) and Cheryl Doyle created the North Port Coalition for Homeless/Needy Children, Inc., registered as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation. They are also known as the "Backpack Angels." All members and volunteers are trying to make a positive difference in the lives of North Port children who, through no fault of their own, have become homeless. The goal is to keep the children in school and receive their diplomas. Because of personal hygiene, some of them do not show up for class.
BPA works with social workers assigned to the North Port schools. There is a need for backpacks filled with personal hygiene products. Students often move around with what they can carry. By having the backpacks/bags filled with personal care products, it would be one less thing of concern. The benefit of having backpacks with supplies would allow the social workers to act with an immediate response when students walk in the door and share their homeless situation.
Both girls and boys are in this situation. There hundreds of homeless students attending their schools. The "Backpack Angels" have distributed thousands of family bags/backpacks trying to provide them with everyday essentials. The items provided are consumables and the number of homeless/needy children continues to grow causing a constant need of toiletries and monetary donations. This is just a band-aid for the homeless problem, but with the help of people like YOU, together we can make a difference in the life of a child by showing him or her someone cares.
Our mission statement is straight forward and simple: To provide hygiene products to the homeless/needy children of North Port which will improve self-esteem and enable them to remain in school, clean and well groomed.
We continue to rely on the school guidance counselors, nurses and teachers working with their social worker(s) to identify the needy children in the North Port schools. We also use the Schoolhouse Link, a long-standing partnership between the School Board of Sarasota County and the Sarasota Family YMCA, to identify homeless/needy North Port children via their YMCA Homeless Youth program. We supply the North Port Social Services with supplies to be given to families who demonstrate a financial need. We have also worked with the Warren Foundation and the All Faiths Food Bank to supply help for the homeless/needy children.
We do not deal directly with the homeless and/or needy. The organizations we work with know and identify who needs help. All of our supplies are delivered through these organizations. We know how many bags are requested by each school/group, how many bags we fill, and to which organization they are delivered. We do not know, and do not wish to know, which individuals receive the supplies.
“Needy” falls into the category of students who come to school with a specific need that has some impact on their ability to access curriculum. Examples would be: students who do not come to school because they have limited clothing, no shoes, parents who have lost jobs and cannot afford clothing, hygiene items, medical services, school supplies,etc..., students that have parents who are barely paying the bills and have no "extras" in the home...and on and on. Unfortunately our coalition cannot address all their needs. We limit our help to personal hygiene items.
The founder's of the North Port Coalition for Homeless/Needy Children.~aka~ Back Pack Angels.
Tell their story of responding to a need they saw in there community and what they felt they had to do to make a change.
Your generous donation will fund our mission. We are a registered member of GUIDESTAR a 501 (c) 3 verifying organization.
https://www.guidestar.org/ North Port Coalition for homeless needy children, inc.
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