The Link Family Resource Center has been helping kids gear up for the new school year with supplies and necessities to properly equip them for the year ahead.
With the school year arriving, the recovery from the pandemic hasn’t necessarily gone smoothly for many families struggling financially.
The resource center, a non-profit based in San Luis Obispo County since 2004, has decided to make the return to the classroom a little easier for children in need in the area.
“I got the works for these kids and that was meaningful because I was able to make their school year until mom and dad can get a little extra cash. We have to be mindful, some of these families work with six or seven kids,” said Carmen Del Real, Family Advocate for Lewis Middle and Shandon Middle Schools.
“I never thought I was going to have this outcome. I had a lot of community support and a lot of families that benefited from this,” said Maria Shira, Family Advocate for Templeton Middle School.
Family advocates for the Link Family Resource Center were able to provide kids from Templeton, Lewis, and Shandon middle schools donated backpacks filled with supplies and clothes to start out the new year.
Over the past two weeks, the nonprofit has held events to collect the supplies for families in need.
“They took this on, on their own, they identified the need in their community, they organized these events, asked for support from other team members, but totally took the lead on these events,” said Carrie Collins, Family Advocate Services Director.
“I started receiving 20 backpacks, 30, and my goal was 40, and we collected 80 backpacks and served 40 families,” Shira said.
The 40 families served with backpacks also received binders, books, headphones, and crayons.
Fifty-four families were provided with new clothes for the year.
“I’m just overwhelmed with the human kindness that exists in this community. People’s willingness for both the backpacks and all of these clothes to donate,” Collins said.
“Families have gotten emotional by it. I think most of them are grateful for what we are doing because people are struggling,” Shira said.
“When you watch these families walk away with a smile, they don’t even have to say thank you. That right there is very meaningful and powerful,” Del Real added.
There are 12 family advocates involved with the nonprofit who will continue to identify families in need of help over the course of the school year.
The nonprofit is already eyeing Thanksgiving as a time for potential sweater donations and the Spring of 2022 for prom dress donations.
For more information on what the Link Family Resource Center is doing in San Luis Obispo County, visit their website at linkslo.org or contact them by phone at (805) 466-5404.