The West Island Mission (WIM) is gearing up for its Back-to-School Event on August 13th. The Mission has been prominent in ensuring food security for West Island families since 2005. They serve roughly 1000 individuals bi-weekly and monthly; some 250 families are supported by the WIM all year round as the community's needs grow, especially during the summer months.
PHOTO: Facebook, West Island Mission
"Our families' most vulnerable time of year is during the summer, as their children aren't receiving lunch or snack programs, and life is that much more expensive. So we like to ensure that every child starts the school year on the same level playing field as everybody else," shared Suzanne Scarrow, the Executive Director of the Mission.
PHOTO: West Island Mission
Families will receive a backpack filled with school supplies for their children aged 5 to 17 and will be offered gently used and new books to start the school year off on the right foot.
"They will get a brand new school bag and school supplies; we're alleviating some of the costs that come along with the beginning of school for these families, and we just hope that every child has the opportunity to start school happy," remarked Scarrow.
This event will benefit over 250 West Island children, and the Mission would appreciate any and all donations to be dropped off at 219 Labrosse, Pointe-Claire, from 8:30 – 3:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Gently used French language children's books are in high demand, as are supplies for high school-aged children. To sponsor a child's backpack, you may visit: https://www.canadahelps.org/fr/organismesdebienfaisance/west-island-mission/
Wendy Gariepy, the Mission's Operations Manager, emphasized the importance of empowering these children as they begin their scholastic year; "Instead of going into school with a bunch of secondhand supplies and backpacks passed on from other siblings, each child can go into school with new items that are the same as the rest of their class. Our hope is that this gives them the self-confidence they need in order to succeed and do their best."