Help out your community!
Apple Federal Credit Union needs your help to provide basic school supplies to Fairfax County Public School students most in need. Take part in the program, Collect for Kids, by heading over to Apple’s Facebook page today! Their goal is to donate $10,000 – so from July 1-31, Apple will MATCH your donation, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000! 100% of the proceeds will go to Collect for Kids. Please read on for more information about the program, and the students the will benefit from you donation!
Darlene, a Walt Whitman Middle School student in Alexandria, spent part of her seventh-grade year living in a truck with her mother and pre-school aged sister. A reading specialist noticed Darlene lacked the required school supplies, and that her teachers were docking her for being unprepared for class. When she offered Darlene a notebook from among the donated supplies, the 12-year-old was thrilled and said she’d use it to keep a journal. So, she was given a second notebook for her school work and for Darlene, having two new notebooks seemed too good to be true. By the end of the school year, Darlene was an honors student in English and her family had moved into a shelter.
Apple Federal Credit Union has launched its annual backpack and school supply drive benefiting needy kids like Darlene throughout Northern Virginia and is encouraging the public to drop off backpacks and cash donations at the nearest Apple branch. Apple, for the first time, will match up to $5,000 in contributions made via PayPal (secure link) from Apple’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AppleFederalCreditUnion).
In Fairfax County, Apple has joined forces with Fairfax County Public Schools, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and more than a dozen non-profit organizations to implement a coordinated school supply campaign, “Collect for Kids.”
In addition, at Apple branches in Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford counties, donors are invited to drop off items from a list of dozens of school supplies such as glue sticks, safety scissors, 12-inch rulers, notebooks and No. 2 pencils (see www.applefcu.org/SupplyDrive for each county’s full list).
“With education and teaching central to Apple’s mission, we are committed to helping ensure that students in Northern Virginia have the school supplies needed for academic success,” says Cynthia McAree, vice president of marketing for Apple. “Since we launched our school supplies drive in 2008, the need in Northern Virginia is greater than ever. In Fairfax County, the monthly average number of families on food stamps has risen by 83 percent*, and more than 62,000 people live in poverty, defined as a family of four living on less than $22,350 a year. We hope the community will be moved to join us.”
One “Collect for Kids” child, Julio, 17, lives in a walk-in closet in Annandale with his mother, with access only to a microwave for cooking – not a refrigerator or stove. After leaving behind three siblings in El Salvador earlier this year, Julio and his mother spent a few months in Texas. But she could not find a job and a local gang kept trying to recruit Julio. Now, his mother earns $5.25 per hour at a nearby El Salvadoran restaurant and Julio volunteers for a community center’s summer program, where he gets three meals a day and canned food to take home. He says he’d like to be a policeman so he can help people. He loves school and looks forward to learning English there this fall.
“The cost of starting the new school year can be daunting for some Northern Virginia families,” says Graham Marsden, director of agency communications for Northern Virginia Family Service, which is one of the beneficiary organizations for Apple’s school supply drive. “Parents get a list of what their child is required to bring, and many can’t afford to make those purchases. Something as simple as a backpack can make all the difference, allowing a child to show up day one ready to learn.”
For donation drop-off locations, visit (www.applefcu.org/SupplyDrive) which lists specific school supplies accepted in each county and the addresses of Apple’s 19 participating branches in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Stafford counties.
* “The County’s SNAP (Food Stamp) average monthly caseload increased from 11,610 in FY 2008 to 21,269 in FY 2011 (a 83% increase).” http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/legislation/2012/2012-human-services-issue-paper.pdf