As the summer drifts into its final month, most young students probably don’t have school on their minds just yet. However, there are quite a few local organizations that do.
Multiple churches and nonprofit groups are currently accepting tax-deductible donations for their annual Coastside Community Backpack Drive, which seeks to give more than 300 local kids a new backpack filled with school supplies, including pencils, erasers, notebooks and binders.
Ken Myers, an El Granada man and a member of the Holy Family Episcopal Church for nearly 30 years, has organized the event as the church’s outreach chair for the last six years.
“As I understand it, half of the students in the Cabrillo school district qualify for subsidized lunches,” Myers said. “So we’ve got a population that really needs the help. Their parents can’t necessarily afford to buy them a backpack and get school supplies.
“I’m starting to have discussions with the Boys and Girls Club (of the Coastside), because they would know some of that population and try to get them to send names to Coastside Hope, and that way we can get them on the list,” Myers said. “As many kids as we can help, the better, as far as I’m concerned.”
While Holy Family Church handles the money, Myers emphasized the drive is a community effort. It’s a collaboration with groups including the Community United Methodist Church, Abundant Grace Coastside Worker, Coastside Hope, Coastside Lutheran Church, Coastside Jewish Community, the migrant student program at Cabrillo Unified School District, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church, the Half Moon Bay Rotary Club, and the Coastside Mothers Club, among others.
Each package costs roughly $30 to $45. The final fundraising and awareness table will be at the Coastside Farmers Market on Saturday, and packaging and distribution will take place in the Community United Methodist Church social hall on Aug. 10. There are still spaces for volunteers, with duties ranging from buying supplies to packaging the goods.
To make a tax-deductible donation, go to the donation tab on the Holy Family website or send a check to 1590 Cabrillo Highway South, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. All the money raised goes directly to the backpacks and supplies.