How does back to school look like when you are a homeless child in Memphis?

School is in full motion, a homeless child in Memphis and summer break draws to a close. It's that time of year parents are preparing their children with supplies and new clothes.

Remember the excitement of back-to-school shopping? An opportunity to buy new things that describe your personality and show off to friends at school. It's also the motivation for the upcoming fresh start to the year and incentive to perform well.

But what if this wasn’t something to look forward to? An exciting moment missing and left with a void? For a homeless child in Memphis, it’s a stressful period, maybe even depressing as relocation or uncertainty for their parents continues. The fear of being judged or bullied comes to fruition. The outcast showing up with little, to no, school supplies, behind in trying to keep up with the curve.

This is how back to school looks like when are you are a homeless child. Memphis has over 860 children experiencing homelessness, but The Salvation Army in Memphis wants to fill that void by making studying exciting. Each year we help 150 families prepare their children for back to school. With 450 backpacks filled with supplies they would otherwise not have, and all thanks to the support from the Memphis community. Not only can we provide supplies, but also after-school programs, food, tutoring and shelter for single moms.

It’s beyond just the materials, the encouragement and motivation give these children an upbeat view of school and a chance to succeed in their education. When they begin each day, we don’t want them to avoid going to school, fear of feeling the outcast. We want them to aspire to achieve success and a healthy future. This is how we want back to school to look like for our children. Not empty and void, but rewarding, caring and achievable.

Even though back-to-school happens in August, we are always welcoming single moms in our shelter. And year-round activities for children, a wonderful example here of J'meria and Melanie's story. As families relocate, their children experience yet another transition and there is always a need for school supplies, food, after-school programs, tutoring, among others.

With your monthly donation, you will be part of this army that has decided to fight against the effects of poverty on those children.