On August 5, the Broncos Youth Center at The Crossing was filled with backpacks and supplies for the upcoming school year. Children along with their families living at The Crossing in the STAR Transitional Program each had the opportunity to hand-select their new backpack. Volunteers from Denver Rescue Mission’s Young Professionals Group cheered them on as they embark on the new school year ahead.
The STAR Transitional Program is a one-year program that helps families move from homelessness or near homelessness to self-sufficiency through life-skills classes, financial training, case management and mentorship. Children have often experienced turbulent family life through the instability and insecurity of homelessness. The support they experience at the Broncos Youth Center provides a place they can feel they belong, they matter and they are deeply cared for.
The Broncos Youth Center staff will help the children and families at The Crossing navigate the upcoming school year whether returning to schools in person, learning remotely or a combination. The Youth Center holds after-school programming and tutoring to keep the kids engaged in their learning and to support parents in their child’s success.
For these kids, it’s something that’s their very own. Also for their parents, it’s a lot of peace of mind that their kids are ready for school.Holly Edwards, intern at the Broncos Youth Center
Receiving brand new backpacks and supplies gives them confidence as they return to school, especially during uncertainties presented by COVID-19. “For these kids, it’s something that’s their very own,” said Holly Edwards, an intern at the Broncos Youth Center. “Also for their parents, it’s a lot of peace of mind that their kids are ready for school.”
The Young Professionals Group made it possible to provide all the backpacks and school supplies. The group started planning in January and hosted a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe in the spring which raised $3,475 (including a $1,000 match from GoFundMe).
The group received 70 backpacks generously donated by Halo Branded Solutions and was able to purchase all the back-to-school supplies to fill the backpacks. They also purchased extra supplies to stock the Youth Center with much-needed materials to last throughout the year including science calculators, binders, notebooks, sharpies, sticky notes and art supplies.
Families were also treated to a variety of tasty ice cream sundays, served by our Young Professionals Group.
“This backpack fundraiser was just one way for us to be able to provide a tangible act of love to them to say ‘you might not know what is going on with school in the fall but here’s one way for us to meet your physical needs,’” said Elisabeth Podhaskie, fundraising chair for the Young Professionals Group. “Hopefully that brings some stability to their lives during this time.”
Learn more about the Young Professionals Group and check out the video above from backpack distribution.
Written by: Christine Branson, Events Specialist