Getting ready to go back to school means haircuts, new shoes, and, of course, school supplies. Many of us remember making trips to the store with our parents, where aisles of Trapper Keepers and Lisa Frank folders held the promise of a perfectly organized school year. Today’s parents often make multiple shopping trips, armed with lists that were posted online in July, and include items ranging from notebooks to headphones. Many students are privileged to get everything they need, and then some, to guarantee that they are amply prepared for the school year ahead, and poised for academic success. Emunah of America, an organization that provides social services and educational programs to families and children in Israel, wants to ensure that the children they support have everything they need to thrive in school, as well.
Some of the most remarkable programs under Emunah’s auspices are the five residential homes that they run for children who are unable to live with their families. According to Susan Nadritch, national board member of Emunah, these kids “go to the local religious public schools in the area that they are in. If they have a particular disability or area of weakness then they will go to a special school.” Emunah has the responsibility of equipping them with everything that they need.
To buy the supplies the kids need, Emunah recently started a back-to-school fundraising campaign. Inspired by last summer’s wildly successful Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, the Emunah campaign asks participants to take a photo of their back-to-school shopping and then share it on Facebook or Instagram. Nadritch notes that “a compelling part of the campaign is that you get your kids involved so they understand the importance of helping others who are less fortunate.” People are then directed to Emunah’s giving webpage, www.emunah.org/schoolsupplies.php, where donations of any amount are welcome, and options range from $10 for basic school supplies for one child to $50 for a backpack full of supplies for a high schooler.
Emunah hopes to raise awareness of the needs of the children in their care through this fun, media-driven campaign. They also expect that this campaign will bring visibility of their organization to a younger audience. Nadritch points out that “Emunah’s school-supplies campaign both raises much-needed funds and reminds people that Emunah’s kids are all of our kids.”
By Robin Tare