Updated: Sep 21, 2021
West Valley Community Services' annual Back to School program, a favorite event for both families and volunteers, prepares children for school by providing them with a backpack full of school supplies and some new clothes to kick off the school year.
This year's event served 370 students -- the largest number to ever participate in the program! The kindergartners through 12th graders used a drive-through pick up system at De Anza college, Moreland School, and Rosemary School to pick up backpacks filled with school supplies and gift cards for clothing, while volunteers delivered additional bags to some homes. As an added element, the mayor and the press were on hand to greet participants!
The program looked a bit different this year due to COVID considerations; typically, the event involves students partnering up with volunteers and going shopping together in a clothing store to select their wardrobe. We are pleased to say that this year's students received gift cards equal to the amount of previous years’ shopping trips to select the clothing that will make them feel confident upon their return to school this year!
Quynh & her family
The Back to School program has been especially important to Quynh, a mother with two children who came here from Vietnam five years ago. A few months after they arrived, her husband had to return home because of his mother’s health, leaving Quynh and the children with significant financial challenges and a language barrier.
An aunt referred them to the West Valley Community Services for help. That first year, knowing that she had no idea what the children would need, Quynh felt immense relief that the Back to School program enabled her children to start school more confidently, prepared with the right supplies. Quynh has been registering for WVCS's Back-To-School event, along with all Special Programs events ever since then. She is especially grateful for the support that WVCS has provided her family during her toughest times.