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Cape groups team up to supply school items to needy children

By Staff | Aug 14, 2009

The Cape Coral Community Foundation is doing its part to ensure that homeless Cape children are outfitted with new backpacks and supplies for the school year, which starts Aug. 24.
Working in conjunction with the Southwest Cape Mom’s Club, CCCF is helping out 159 separate children who are, by definition, homeless.
Director Beth Sanger said all the children, while homeless, might not be living on the streets. They might be living on relatives’ couches, staying in shelters or group homes.
“The school district defines it as a child who does not have their own address,” she said. “They’re not necessarily living in the streets, but they’re definitely not able to provide their own home address.”
This is the third year the CCCF has undertaken this particular mission.
Last year the foundation helped 131 children who were in need of backpacks and supplies, while the first year saw it helping children who had not quite reached the level of homelessness the organization is seeing today.
Sanger thinks the rising numbers are indicative of an ailing community.
“I don’t think it was the same issue when we started three years ago,” she said. “During decent times the Cape was an affordable place to live and families had a roof over their heads. With all the foreclosures, now it’s needed more than ever.”
Each backpack is stuffed with school supplies, according to Sanger.
So far, the CCCF has collected more than 100 backpacks, more than $2,000 in school supplies and gift cards from Staples.
The CCCF handled all the shopping duties, and the Mom’s Club handles all the distribution duties.
Though they still need a few more backpacks, Sanger said every child will receive one. She added that the Mom’s Club loves this particular effort as children need help now more than ever.
“They know how critical it is for the kids to have these things,” Sanger said.
For more information on the CCCF, visit the organization’s Web site online at: www.capecoralcf.planyourlegacy.org.