Kids receive school supplies and services with Back 2 School

Written by on August 14, 2019

Hundreds of students filled the La Crosse Center for the 8th Annual Back 2 School event Wednesday.

Donations from the community helped provide school supplies, clothes, haircuts, vaccinations and other health screenings for families facing the expenses of another academic year.

“I think it just really gives the children a good start on their first day of school,” Shannon Parker, financial wellness advocate at Catholic Charities said. “It makes them feel like they can be just like their friends and have new things and do well in school.”

Annabella Nemec came to the event with her mother, Lois Mchenry-Nemec, to prepare for entering the second grade.

“It got a lot of stuff in my backpack,” Nemec said. “It was so much.”

She was thrilled to find a teal and pink backpack and a tissue box for her classroom featuring a favorite cartoon character. Nemec said she was most excited about getting back to art class once the school year started.

Annabella Nemec gathers school supplies as she prepares to enter the second grade.

Mchenry-Nemec said she was relieved community support could help her daughter get what she needs.

“I think it is great because some of us that live in low-income housing or some of us that don’t have full-time jobs, it is just a blessing to be able to come here and be able to get help and not have to worry,” Mchenry-Nemec said.

Sisters Lilli and Emilie Picitaci typically spend their summer days playing outside or swimming, but on Wednesday, they too were eager to go inside the La Crosse Center to get school supplies. Both girls were looking forward to having a fresh haircut to show off on their first day of school.

Sisters Lilli and Emilie Picitaci will enter the fifth and third grade respectively.

“It is a great event,” Diane Danielson, their mother, said. “It helps out many families in the area with school supplies. Haircuts are great. It’s convenient. It’s all in one place. It definitely helps out.”

Parker said more than 650 kids registered to receive donated supplies and services at the event. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse said they are still hoping to raise $4,000 to help more children this year. Anyone can make a donation online.

Mid-West Family La Crosse teamed up with Catholic Charities, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, The Salvation Army of La Crosse County, School District of La Crosse, and the La Crosse County Health Department to provide school supplies for families.

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