Backpacks Galore and Smiles to Match

For most kids, back-to-school time means the excitement of a new backpack filled with everything needed to start the new year with all the right tools. But  nearly 90 percent of the children at Roosevelt Elementary School in Allentown are from low-income families, and the students’ need for new school supplies and personal hygiene items is great, according to Community School Director Katherine Jackson.
For the third year in a row, associates at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network responded to this need by donating more than 300 backpacks filled with everything from underwear and personal toiletries to items needed for daily school work. The effort was led by Gail Metzger, an occupational therapist at Good Shepherd's East Greenville site, as part of a community partnership with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Shortly after the start of the 2012 school year, Good Shepherd associates visited the school to deliver the backpacks and help distribute them. The children squealed with delight as they opened their backpacks and marveled at things many of us might take for granted such as bars of soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, underwear, and socks.
"I love this school," said one child as he explored the contents of his backpack.

Roosevelt Elementary School is one of the United Way of the Lehigh Valley’s 12 COMPASS Community Schools.  This designation enables the United Way to help build relationships between the school and other community resources, including the employees of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network.