United Way helps kids go back to school in style

The Bristol Press

July 31, 2014

BRISTOL — The first day of school can be a tough time for needy children whose parents cannot afford a nice outfit and/or appropriate school supplies. A child’s self-image has a dramatic effect on performance in the classroom and the lack of a positive self-image can create lasting consequences.

United Way believes that the first day of school is an important event in a child’s life that is often overlooked, thus they began the Adopt–A–Child Back to School Program in 1999, helping 30 children.

The organization has continued this program each year and it has grown dramatically, with over 500 children served last year alone. This year, the number of children signed up is 538.

United Way needs your help! Out of the 538 who applied for the program, approximately 170 children are still in need of being matched with a donor. Even a small monetary donation can go a long way to help the United Way staff purchase items for these children.

United Way is hoping that the generous spirit of local residents will extend to the many needy children in the area as they make their way back to school in the fall. The future of many of these children depends on their performance in school and United Way wants to ensure that all children are on a level playing field.

If you or your company wants to take part in this valuable program and help a child in need, call Emily at United Way at (860) 582-9559.

You will be asked to provide a first day of school outfit for a child, along with a backpack filled with school supplies. United Way will provide you with a child’s first name, gender, clothing sizes, and favorite colors to help you in purchasing your gift.

Donations can be dropped off to United Way, 200 Main St., on either Tuesday, Aug. 5 or Wednesday, Aug. 6, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., so that the gifts can be distributed before the first day of school.

The United Way of West Central Connecticut originated as the Community Chest of Bristol in 1922 and later expanded into the towns of Burlington and Plymouth. The United Way of Bristol, Burlington and Plymouth merged with the United Way of Plainville in 1996 to form the United Way of West Central Connecticut, which is one of 15 independent United Ways in Connecticut and one of nearly 1,300 national and worldwide agencies.

The United Way of West Central Connecticut has been in partnership with individuals, business and organizations working to improve community life for over 90 years.

For more information, visit www.uwwestcentralct.org.

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