New Castle News

December 11, 2013

Christmas 2013: IU IV delivers backpacks to homeless

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV and Feed the Children partnered for the holiday giving season.

IU IV staff members spent November delivering backpacks filled with school supplies, nonperishable food and personal care items to homeless children throughout the region.

Feed the Children, an international relief organization, partners with organizations throughout the country to deliver essentials to children in need.

Each year, it collects donations and chooses partners to deliver the collected items.

This year, it selected Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness as partner for the second time. This initiative works to see that homeless children receive an appropriate education by assisting them with the removal of barriers and obstacles often caused by homelessness.

Operated by IU IV, the program serves school-aged students in Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.

Wendy Kinnear organized the effort several weeks before the delivery of supplies to the IU IV office in Grove City.

Kinnear noted the backpacks and supplies make a tremendous difference in the education of the children the program serves.

“Homeless children throughout our region face many obstacles and barriers that can interrupt their education,” Kinnear said.

One major obstacle homeless is the lack of school supplies, clothing and personal care items, she said. The backpacks provided by Feed the Children help lift those barriers.

IU IV social worker Susan Pfahles delivered backpacks to children in Lawrence County.

“The kids often become overwhelmed with joy and show tremendous appreciation for the donations from Feed the Children,” Pfahles said. “I just had the pleasure of giving a backpack to a homeless student who is new to his school. He will be able to start a new life in his new school ready to learn and grow because of these supplies.”