For the 9th year in a row, Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference youth have collected and distributed school supplies to help local students in need start the year off on the right foot by providing backpacks and needed supplies.
The 2022 Hands4Hope School Supply Drive Committee, composed of six high school-age youth, one college-age intern and two staff mentors, worked with local businesses and community members to collect and purchase over 19,000 items including 675 backpacks - exceeding last year's goal by 175 backpacks! Twenty-nine volunteers filled 95 volunteer spots and put in over 300 hours of community service for this annual event. To date, Hands4Hope has distributed 650 backpacks filled with essential supplies to local students in need while working through their community partners to distribute the remaining backpacks.
In an effort to reach as many students needing supplies as possible, the committee decided to host two separate distribution days this year. The first was held on August 3rd at Camerado Middle School in Cameron Park and the second was at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville on August 5th.
Each distribution day also included booths hosted by local agencies within the community who shared what resources and services they provide that might be helpful to the families attending these events. Included were the Community HUBS, El Dorado County Office of Education, HeadStart, Bilingual Assistance, Marshall Foundation, and the Dental Van hosted by the El Dorado County Department of Public Health.
Folsom High School junior Maya Moss served as the Cameron Park Distribution Day Lead. “The Cameron Park Distribution Day went amazing. The [Camerado Middle School] staff helped us so much to get set up! Special thanks to Principal Doug Shupe for making this possible. All the kids were very grateful and excited for this school year.” At the Cameron Park Distribution Day, we were able to serve 64 families (159 students - 72 middle or high school and 87 elementary).
Oak Ridge High School junior Navy Morrison served as the Placerville Distribution Lead. “At the [Placerville] distribution I was in charge of greeting the children and pairing them up with a volunteer.
I love working with kids in general but seeing so many of them practically jumping with joy about getting to choose a new backpack made me so happy to be part of this committee.
Even though I wasn't able to spend a considerable amount of time with any one child, meeting them all and seeing each of their adorable personalities made up for it completely.” At the Placerville distribution, we served 156 families (408 students - 158 middle and high school and 250 elementary).
When we were faced with a shortage of backpacks and supplies, we put out an “S.O.S.” to Support Our Students through “Operation: We Have Your BACKPACK.” Our community immediately sprung into action, sharing our call for help among their networks, identifying resources who could help us make up the gap, and gather donations!
Thank you to the Rotary Club of Historic Folsom who made a $750 donation to the School Supply Drive, Friends of Folsom, Folsom Fraternal Order of the Eagles, and so many other individuals, businesses, and agencies who work with us to make a difference in the lives of those in need in our community! Because of their support, we are able to continue throughout this school year to work with our agency partners to provide backpacks and supplies to those in need.
Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference and the School Supply Committee is very grateful to the many local businesses that held School Supply Drives or hosted collection bins for this cause including: Doug Veerkamp Engineering, Mini’s House of Pain, Gifts of Kids Preschool, Thompson’s Family of Dealerships, California Welcome Center, Robinson's Pharmacy, Kumon, Sourdough and Co, EDH and Cameron Park Libraries, Datwyler Orthodontics, Snap Fitness Shingle Springs, Urban Sprawl Fitness, Starbucks, Friends of Folsom, Jon and Bon’s Yogurt Shoppe, Foothills Church, and El Dorado County Government Offices.
It truly was a community endeavor to be able to help so many students start the school year off right!