To the Editor:

Well summer has finally arrived. School has just ended and most folks are making plans for vacations, so it may seem like an odd time to be thinking about the back to school needs of children in the Milford community –- but now is when it begins.

The Milford Salvation Army Service Unit Backpack Program has been providing Milford children with backpacks for over 18 years through a collaborative effort of city and community organizations.

The Milford Salvation Army Service Unit has purchased backpacks and the Milford Human Services Department has contacted the local schools to ascertain who will need a backpack and supplies, and parishioners of local churches are busy purchasing supplies. Outreach will continue throughout the summer to identify children who will require a new backpack to start the school year.

We are grateful for the generosity of the Milford community who have offered support as volunteers or have contributed supplies and funds to purchase additional backpacks as the need increases. We anticipate an increase in the number of families requesting backpacks beyond previous years due to financial hardships that families are experiencing and the estimated cost of back to school supplies.

We are asking if you are willing to join with other businesses, organizations and residents by donating supplies or contributing funds to purchase additional backpacks or school supplies.

Should you decide to contribute funds, you may make a check payable to: Milford Family Resource Center. Please indicate on the memo line: Backpack Program. Our address is 466 West River Street, Milford, Connecticut 06461.

Should you decide to contribute school supplies, you may contact us at 203-783-3627 and we will come by to pick up the supplies. Finally, if you know of someone who would appreciate a backpack for their child or children, please do not hesitate to have them contact us at 203-783-3627.

Supplies may include:

Elementary School: Crayons, glue, washable markers, 2-3 spiral notebooks, pencil box, pencils, pens, ruler, tape, 3 ring binder, scissors, eraser, paper clips, small stapler, pocket pack size tissues.

Middle and High School: Calculator, protractor, tape, 10 subject dividers with tabs, 3 ring binder with 1” metal “D” ring with pockets, loose leaf notebook paper, plastic pouch for pencils that can be inserted into notebook rings; hole punch, reinforcements, pencils, pens, markers, spiral notebooks, ruler, small stapler, paper clips, computer paper.

The Milford Salvation Army Service Unit is represented by: Lesley Darling, Milford Health Department; Joan Canavan (Treasurer); Karen Schur, Young Parent Program; Erica Bento, Hillary Burr, Melissa Dubiel ; Human Services Department; Toni Dolan, Beth El Center; Jean Kaluzynski, Milford Senior Center; Bob Lessard, St. Mary Parish Outreach Committee; Peggy Kelly, Milford Family Resource Center.

Peggy Kelly