Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror
Leesburg Today Archives

Mobile Hope Equips Loudoun’s ‘Often Forgotten’ Kids For School

© Leesburg Today - 08/28/2015

Just as the start of a new school year has meant longer lines at department stores, it's also meant more families in need of help.

Hundreds of kids walked away from Mobile Hope's Leesburg headquarters Thursday equipped for the classroom.

The nonprofit organization hosted a Be Cool for School shopping event for children who are homeless, precariously housed or whose family cannot afford to purchase back-to-school basics.

More than 200 young people attended the five-hour open house to ""shop"" for clothes, personal hygiene products and items for school, such as backpacks, notebooks and crayons. Fifty students received vision screenings, and Mobile Hope volunteers handed out 100 coupons for free haircuts.

Donna Fortier, chief executive and founder of Mobile Hope, said the list of school supplies families are expected to purchase for one child can add up to more than $60. Some of the schools require elementary students to come equipped with ear buds, a dozen glue sticks and five different kinds of writing utensils, among several other items.

And, she added, in a county that's ranked among the wealthiest in the nation, often people don't know there is hundreds of children whose families cannot afford the supplies.

""They're often forgotten,"" she said.

Kevin Monroy, a 17-year-old who will attend Tuscarora High School, was appreciative as he picked out a backpack, notebooks and pens. He said he's ready for Monday, his first day at a new school.

""I feel good about it,"" he said. His goal for the year is to improve his English. His family recently moved from El Salvador. ""That's what I want to work on. I'm looking forward to getting better at it.""

Mobile Hope added the names and contact information of the students and their families who attended Thursdays' event to its database. The organization, with its specially designed bus, makes regular stops throughout the county to distribute food, clothes, diapers, toiletries and other items, and it will send text messages to families in need in advance to let them know the schedule.

The organization is always in need of volunteers-Fortier joked that she could even put a willing 4-year-old to work-and donations, whether tangible or financial. See a suggested donation list at mobilehopeloudoun.org.

Back to the Leesburg Today archives

As Seen IN PRINT
The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.
Email UPDATES