Press Release: Britepaths Seeks Community Support for School Supply Assistance

Back to School Donation Drive Through August 16
Goal to Provide Supplies to 2,500 School Children in Central Fairfax,
Falls Church, Annandale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Lisa Whetzel, lwhetzel@britepaths.org, 703.273.8829

FAIRFAX, VA (July 17, 2019) – Fairfax-based non-profit Britepaths is seeking volunteers from the community to donate funds, backpacks and calculators to assist students in need who attend schools in the Fairfax County area as part of its annual Collect for Kids Back to School Program.

Britepaths’ goal is to provide supplies for at least 2,500 students who attend schools in the Fairfax High School pyramid, Justice High School pyramid, and other select Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Britepaths provides the supplies to its partner schools for distribution to students with demonstrated need. In 2018, Britepaths assisted 2,655 students.

Community members interested in helping may donate by August 16 through Britepaths’ secure on-line donation page at: britepaths.org, or mail a check to 3959 Pender Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Write “BTS” in the memo line. Donations of new backpacks and scientific calculators are also welcome. They may be brought to Britepaths’ offices, Mondays through Fridays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Additional local donation drop-off sites are listed below and on Britepaths’ web site.

Backpacks may also be ordered and shipped directly to Britepaths through “wish lists” on Amazon.com and DollarDays.com. For more information on donating or sponsoring the program, contact Joanne Walton at 703-273-8829 or jwalton@britepaths.org, or visit britepaths.org

Britepaths is collaborating with Fairfax County’s Collect for Kids partnership, which includes FCPS, the Fairfax County Office of Public-Private Partnerships, Apple Federal Credit Union, and a variety of local non-profit organizations and businesses, to serve as many FCPS students in need as possible by purchasing high-quality school supplies at discounted prices.

The partnership, along with an agreement with Herndon-based Campus Survival Kits, allows Britepaths to provide all the supplies a student needs for approximately $15 per student (and often $10 or less for elementary students), where it can often cost $40 or more per child to purchase all the necessary supplies from retail stores. Britepaths needs to collect $37,500 in cash and more than 1,000 backpacks to meet its commitment.

Lisa Whetzel, Britepaths’ Executive Director, said, “It is incredible to think that 56,000 students in the Fairfax County Public Schools system are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. These children face a variety of challenges that no child should have to deal with. They may miss meals, lack resources for school supplies, and have limited access to appropriate school clothing. These are just some of the issues that distract them from concentrating on school and meeting their highest academic potential. We hope the community will respond generously to ensure that children whose families are in crisis are able to start the new school year with dignity and all the tools they need to succeed.”

Britepaths is grateful to Program Sponsor, the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads, which for the eighth year is partnering with Britepaths to help fund and deliver supplies to Bailey’s Elementary, Glasgow Middle School and Justice High School.

Britepaths is in its 35th year of providing assistance and a way forward for struggling individuals and families throughout the Fairfax County area. The organization relies on funding and volunteer support from businesses, individuals, community organizations and faith communities to provide services that: Stabilize Families: supplemental food and financial assistance; Build Resilience: Financial Education, Project BRIDGE, Network Up, and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County (FECSoCo.org); and offer Seasonal Supports: Back to School and Holiday assistance. More information is available at: britepaths.org.

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Additional Information About the Collect for Kids Back to School Program

The following local organizations and businesses are partnering with Britepaths this summer to serve as donation drop-off sites:

The Fairfax County Public Schools with which Britepaths is partnering to provide supplies include:

Justice High School in Falls Church and the following feeder schools:
Bailey's Elementary
Bailey's Upper Elementary
Beech Tree Elementary
Belvedere Elementary
Glen Forest Elementary
Parklawn Elementary
Sleepy Hollow Elementary
Glasgow Middle School

Fairfax High School in Fairfax City and the following feeder schools:
Daniel's Run Elementary
Fairfax Villa Elementary
Lanier Middle School

Additional Partner Schools:
Poe Middle School, Annandale
Bonnie Brae Elementary, Fairfax
Oak View Elementary, Fairfax
Quander Road School, Alexandria
South County Middle School, Lorton