Just as the start of a new school year has meant longer lines at department stores, it’s also meant more families in need of help.
More than 100 families lined up at Mobile Hope’s Leesburg headquarters today to load up on clothes, shoes, backpacks and other school supplies. Two hours into the five-hour event, the nonprofit organization’s leaders expected to see a record-breaking night at its annual Back to School Shopping Event.
Donna Fortier, CEO and founder of Mobile Hope, said the list of school supplies families are expected to purchase for one child can add up to more than $60. In a county that’s ranked among the wealthiest in the nation, often people don’t know there are hundreds of children whose families cannot afford the supplies. “They’re often forgotten,” she said.
Mobile Hope helps homeless, precariously housed and other low-income young people in Loudoun. With its specially designed bus, the organization makes regular stops throughout the county to distribute food, clothes, diapers, toiletries, and other items, and it will send text messages to families in need in advance to let them know the schedule.
Students received a backpack filled with a starter kit of school supplies and coupons from Hair Cuttery. About 50 volunteers helped organize and hand out supplies. Families could also register to vote—thanks to the help of representatives from the League of Women Voters Loudoun County—and register or re-enroll for Medicaid.