British Columbia Division

Back to school, with The Salvation Army in Maple Ridge


By Kerrie-Ann Schoenit – Maple Ridge News

Needy families in Maple Ridge are receiving a little extra help this September with back-to-school expenses.

The Salvation Army is handing out backpacks filled with new school supplies to underprivileged children.

There are many families who can’t afford the cost of purchasing the long list of required items for their children, said Darrell Pilgrim, director of The Caring Place Ministries at the Salvation Army.

“We would love to be able to provide them with everything, but this is the basics to get them started,” he said.

“Even if we can just cut down half that list we’re happy.”

The packs are stuffed with binders, exercise books, ruled looseleaf paper, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers and highlighters.

Supplies are handed out to parents on a walk-in basis.

For the last few years, the Salvation Army has supported hundreds of underprivileged children.

Over that time, Pilgrim said the need for supplies has increased similar to the reliance on other programs like community meals.

Last year, the Salvation Army distributed about 85 backpacks to families in this area. This year’s goal is to support at least 100 kids with new supplies.

“The whole project is about sharing hope,” Pilgrim said.

“It’s about showing these children that we believe in them and trying to show them that we want to give them the dignity and respect that they deserve to start the school year.”

Financial donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army at 22188 Lougheed Highway.

Contributions help with purchasing additional needed supplies that are not provided in the backpacks like calculators, geometry sets and pencil crayons.

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