HARTFORD, Conn. — Hundreds of community members, corporate and individual donors stepped up with overwhelming support after flooding from recent heavy rains destroyed at least 100 backpacks set to be given to Hartford students this week by The Village for Families & Children before the start of school.
In just two days, donors contributed over $30,000—more than enough to replace the damaged backpacks and provide additional assistance for hundreds of low-income children and families.
"We called for help and help came immediately we had an overwhelming number of donations as you can see," said Jeana Burke a team member of The Village for Families & Children during their backpack giveaway Wednesday.
“We are incredibly grateful for the quick response by so many despite this unfortunate situation,” said Galo Rodriguez, Village President & CEO. “We are now able to turn it into something positive by ensuring even more children have what they need for a good start to the school year.”
Roughly 100 backpacks, set to be handed out to school kids from eight Hartford schools, were ruined in a basement that got flooded. Among the groups stepping up: an organization called Men Standing Up Against Violence, which included former world champion boxer, Marlon Starling.
"It feels like I won a fight," Starling said of the sight of all the backpacks MSUAV was able to provide.
The backpacks and snacks inside come just in time for school to start on Monday.
“The Village helped [us] out a lot and I really appreciate it. Thank you for the book bags,” said Mike Oliver, another world champion boxer, who is a Village Fatherhood Engagement Services client and parent of a Hartford student, at the event.
The Village partners with several Hartford Public Schools to provide children with services and supports to be successful in school, while also supporting the healthy development of their families, and provides resources, basic needs assistance, and family strengthening programs at their Spring Street Family Center.
"All the help to help the kids is needed in all phases, not just here, everywhere," said George “Shorty” Davis, of Men Standing Up Against Violence. "Just pay attention to the news, look, listen, read Facebook all types."
FOX61 is proud to donate $5,000 to this effort through the Tegna Foundation, which is part of the television station's parent company.
Generous supporters include Care Centrix, Cornerstone Foundation, Educational Resources, The Hartford, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Horizon Escapes, Men Standing Up Against Violence, Mitchell Volvo, Ocean State Job Lot, Pepperidge Farms, Spirit and Truth Apostolic Church, Stanley Black & Decker, The Village Auxiliaries, Travelers, Vox Church, Wethersfield Public Schools, and many individual donors.
The public can make donations by clicking on this link to The Village.
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