By Tonya Young, Homeport relationship coordinator, and Pamela Palmer, AmeriCorps Member
Homeport, a NeighborWorks member in Columbus, Ohio, hosted back to school rallies at many of its communities to help provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school. Homeport board members, staff, and AmeriCorps members volunteered alongside employees from Chase, Hilton, Express, and other organizations handing out backpacks filled with school supplies. The children enjoyed the events and left feeling so excited to go back to school!
In addition to stuffed backpacks, the residents received free food and information on safety and other community and social service programs available to help improve their lives. For most, the moments treasured included when members presented participants of the Homeport summer camp program with certificates of completion, and when they announced the names of the children and families selected to receive refurbished computers.
These rallies involved collaboration amongst various community partners, including YMCA, Columbus Gives Back, Columbus State Community College, The Junior League of Columbus, and United Way of Central Ohio. The residents had an opportunity to meet their child’s 2012 School Liaison Officer, who promotes and encourages increased parental involvement in the education process, as well as representatives from City of Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman’s office, and other public officials. The success of these events was made possible by the selfless acts of others and the formation of new partnerships. What a great way to kick off a new school year!