Another Big Year for Fill the Bus

Thanks to the generosity of organizations and many local Episcopal parishes, every child in an ECS program has a new backpack filled with school supplies to start the year off right.

Thirty-three parishes and organizations donated over 700 backpacks filled with school supplies plus gift cards for students to buy other items they need for school. This amounts to nearly $50,000 in donations which is nearly $10,000 more than last year. The program continues to be a success for the children served by ECS because of the dedication and enthusiasm of the participants.

“Something new this year was the specific request for gift cards and USB drives for the students in addition to the backpacks and school supplies,” ECS Volunteer and Parish Relations Manager Shana Kaplonov said. “Gift cards are an important tool used by our staff so they can respond to additional needs the students have throughout the school year. Because technology is increasingly integrated into education, we requested USB drives for the students so that they have the tools they need to be successful in school.”

Fill the Bus is more than just a way to make sure kids are prepared for school. It creates a connection between the agency’s supporters and program participants – a tangible way for families to know that there are people who care about their success. The backpacks are also a vital tool to build engagement within ECS programs. The Out of School Time Program begins the backpack distribution at their first monthly community meeting, providing an incentive for parents to attend. In foster care, the backpacks ease the burdens of the special resource parents who open their homes to children in need and are also given to birth parents who have other children not in ECS care.

Thank you, all participants:

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas; Christ Church, Ithan; Christ Church, Media; Christ Church, Philadelphia; Church of St. Jude and the Nativity, Lafayette Hill; Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill; Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square; Church of the Incarnation, Morrisville; Church of the Messiah, Gwynedd; Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr; Church of the Redeemer, Springfield; Emmanuel Church, Quakertown; Grace Church, Hulmeville; Incarnation Holy Sacrament Church, Drexel Hill; Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd, East Falls; Nevil Memorial Church of St. George; Philadelphia Cathedral; St. David’s Church, Manayunk; St. David’s Church, Radnor; St. Dunstan’s Church, Blue Bell; St. John’s Church, Lower Merion; St. Luke’s Church, Germantown; St. Mary’s Church, Ardmore; St. Matthew’s Church, Maple Glen; St. Peter’s Church in the Great Valley; St. Simon the Cyrenian Church; St. Thomas’ Church, Whitemarsh; Towers Watson; Trinity Church, Gulph Mills; Trinity Church, Solebury; Washington Memorial Chapel.