More than four dozen students at Lord Baltimore Elementary School will receive backpacks filled with school supplies to start their school year, thanks to the efforts of a group of local women.
The idea for the backpack project came about as a group of women who live in the Bishop’s Landing development collected their usual money for local charities during their monthly luncheon. The women decided that they wanted to contribute backpacks and came up with filling 50 packs as their goal.
First, the backpacks themselves were purchased, and into each one was placed a supplies list for one of the grades at Lord Baltimore, which encompasses kindergarten through fifth grade. The individual backpacks were then taken by households in Bishop’s Landing and filled with everything from dry erase markers to earbuds.
“When I first started the mission, I told the school I’d like to fill 30 backpacks,” said organizer Judy Burgo. By the time the project was finished, 50 backpacks filled two SUVs, she said. While some families filled whole backpacks, “We also put the call out that if people didn’t want to do a whole backpack, they could just do one thing, or whatever they felt they could do to help,” Burgo said. Together, the supplies contributed by about 75 people added up to help for the families of 50 children who received them.
With supply lists seemingly getting longer and longer every year, sometimes it is a struggle for families to purchase everything on the list for their children. So anything that was contributed toward filling the pack was a help.
“It all adds up,” Burgo said.
Lord Baltimore Principal Pamela Webb agreed.
“It is a monetary hardship” for some families to check off all the items on that supply list each year, Webb said.
The backpacks will be distributed based on need, she continued.
“Just from building those relationships with families, we know which ones would benefit from that generosity,” Webb said. Also, some families contact the school themselves and ask for assistance. “The parents are so appreciative” of the help, she said.
The LB principal also wanted to express gratitude to the Bishop’s Landing “backpack packers” for not only buying the packs and the supplies, but for sorting the supplies and placing them in backpacks labeled by grade.
“It would bring tears to your eyes,” she said. “I said to them, ‘I don’t think you understand the impact” of the donation.
In addition to the backpacks, Webb said boxes of extra classroom supplies were included in the donation — which will also help teachers, as well as students, throughout the year
For their part, Burgo said, she is pleased with the outcome.
“It was a really rewarding project,” she said. “The community jumped right in and helped.”