Easing the burden for schoolkids in need - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Easing the burden for schoolkids in need

Kyrene Foundation gives families supplies, food and peace of mind

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 6:45 am

Throughout the years, the Kyrene Foundation’s Family Resource Center has been on the forefront of assisting families in the Kyrene School District who are in need of assistance.

Kyrene Prevention Manager Amanda Nosbisch said the resource center began assisting families in Kyrene before the school year started by serving 161 families with more than 180 food bags and distributing 400 backpacks to kids throughout the district.

“The total number of individuals serviced was 780 in three days of service in July,” she said. “We always open a couple weeks before school starts to get families ready for the school year.”

Families in need can visit the Kyrene Family Resource Center — located on the campus of Kyrene de los Niños Elementary School, 1330 E. Dava Drive, Tempe — once a month to receive items that include school supplies, clothing, food boxes and hygiene products.

During their monthly visit, families are given a bag filled with food before they get the chance to pick out articles of clothing and supplies for the school year.

Brian Gibson, principal at Kyrene de las Lomas Elementary School, said the school supplies donated to families goes toward furthering their child’s education.

“When I know that kids have a good backpack or that they’re getting the food they need, they can focus on their studies,” he said. “If they’re always worried about that stuff, then they can’t fully focus. It makes for a much better situation for everybody.”

Ahwatukee resident Odette Coe has been visiting the resource center for years and said the best part of her visits were the lack of judgment when she walked through the doors.

“I started coming here five years ago … none of them look down on people because they need help,” she said. “It’s huge to get help and not be judged or looked different because you need help.”

Coe, who has three children enrolled in the district, donates items such as school supplies, clothing and food to the resource center every chance she gets.

“They have a really big heart,” she said. “There are so many other families that can’t afford to go to the Goodwill to get things, so it’s so much better to be able to walk in here and get things.”

To receive assistance, families must have a child registered in the Kyrene School District.

The Kyrene Foundation is restocking its shelves to continue the assistance throughout the remainder of the year.

Items that are in high demand include hygiene products such as diapers, soap shampoo and toothpaste; food items such as canned meat, tuna, peanut butter, pasta and cereal; and clothing and school supplies.

For additional information on how to donate to the resource center or to make an appointment to visit, call (480) 541-4772.

The resource center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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