Nearly 200 volunteers converged on the Ross Lower School in Bridgehampton on Thursday to prepare 1,800 backpacks with age appropriate school supplies for needy children in eastern Suffolk County.
During the month of August at seven different locations, including five on Long Island, more than 10,000 backpacks were filled and distributed to needy children through the United Jewish Appeal Federation’s Supplies for Success program.
The backpacks prepared in Bridgehampton will be distributed exclusively to needy children in eastern Suffolk County, including the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center and the Retreat.
Since 2002, the Supplies for Success program has ensured that children in need on Long Island and more recently, metro New York, return to school with the tools they need to succeed. This year marks the third year of the program on the East End.
Jill Bovina, a resident of East Hampton and a Supplies for Success vice chairwoman, said “every child deserves a shot at success and school is the recognized pathway to a better life.”
Supplies for Success chairwoman Mindy Richen stein, who lives in Sagaponack, said “Kids should not start school anxious and ashamed, but rather confident and hopeful with the basic tools needed to succeed. Too many parents have to choose between food on the table or notebooks and pencils.”
To date nearly 50,000 backpacks have been distributed to impoverished children. The program is now being replicated in other states, including New Jersey, Florida and Pennsylvania.