Back-to-school supplies are an annual drain on family finances.
For most families, coming up with the money for pencils, pens, notebooks and binders is well within budget constraints, but there are at least 600 students attending School District 57 schools who need some help.
The Telus Community Ambassador volunteers have stepped up in Prince George with 600 Kits for Kids stuffed with school supplies. Since 2006, the company has been given out nearly 60,000 backpacks to kids across Canada to help them focus on the coming school year.
"For the younger kids, everybody gets scissors, pencil crayons, pencils, pens, crayons, rulers ,erasers, exercise books and paper,"said Telus administrative assistant Carol Lloyd. "The older ones will get calculators, if we have them, and geometry sets and dictionaries.
"It's very rewarding to know that kids and parents who can't afford the backpacks love to get them."
The needy families are identified by each individual school and principals will let school district administrators know how many backpacks are required. The backpacks, which have no identifying branding that ties them to Telus, will be available for pickup at the schools before classes begin.
The backpacks are prepared in May during the annual Telus Day of Giving by members of its ambassadors program, made up of retired Telus employees and their friends.
"Every parent wants their child to have everything they need to start the school year on the right foot," said Lorri Kidd, local president of the Telus Community Ambassadors. "Unfortunately, several of them are unable to do so due to financial hardships. Programs such as Telus's Kits for Kids are incredibly important for families in need. Not only do they ease some of the financial burden of back-to-school shopping, they also level the playing field by ensuring all students start the school year with the same basic supplies as their friends."