Back-to-school is a time full of anticipation as students get ready to learn new things and make new friends. However, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety for families who can’t afford back-to-school supplies.
To help ensure Houston-area students have the materials they need to start the year successfully, advanced practice providers (APPs) in the Department of Surgery APP Community Outreach Committee collected more than 50 backpacks filled with school supplies from across the three Texas Children’s Hospital campuses. The backpacks were donated at YMCA of Greater Houston locations and The Woodlands Family YMCA at Branch Crossing as part of YMCA Operation Backpack.
This was the fourth year APPs participated in the backpack drive, one of two major charitable initiatives held by the committee each year in which APPs from all Texas Children’s Hospital locations join forces for a common cause – to give back to the community. The other larger annual initiative is a food collection drive in January that benefits Houston Food Bank and Montgomery County Food Bank.
“Each campus participates in numerous events throughout the year, but we wanted to find a couple of opportunities to give back during the year when everyone can be involved,” said Jackie Broda, PA-C in Pediatric Urology and Clinical Lead of the Community Outreach Committee. “Going back to school is obviously a big thing for all our patients. So the backpack drive allows us to help kids get started back to school on the right foot.”
Supplies for each donation included:
- 1 new backpack
- 1 package of pens
- 1 package of #2 pencils
- 1 pencil sharpener
- 1 eraser
- 1 24-pack of crayons or 8-pack of markers or colored pencils
- 1 package ruled loose leaf 8.5 x 11 paper (wide ruled)
- 1 12” ruler
- 1 pair of child safety scissors
- 2 pocket folders
- 2 spiral notebooks (100 sheets each)
- 1 glue bottle or glue stick
- 1 composition notebook
The backpack drive and food drive are just a part of the busy annual calendar of charitable initiatives and community events that APPs take part in every year at each Texas Children’s Hospital campus. Committee members take an active role in organizing and also volunteer at these events, which include the annual Family Fun Runs, Camp For All 2 U, Teddy Bear Clinics and many, many more – and all in addition to the amazing care and support they provide for patients and families every day.
“It’s a source of pride that everyone comes together for these incredible causes, but it’s awe-inspiring how much everyone is willing to give back on top of all the amazing work they do helping our patients,” Broda said.
Department of Surgery APP Community Outreach Committee 2019 Backpack Drive
Clinical Lead: Jackie Guarino Broda, PA-C
Texas Children’s Hospital – Texas Medical Center campus
Lead: Marielle Faraone, PA-C
Co-project Leaders: Marielle Faraone, PA-C and Madison Fitzgerald, PA-C
Donated: 14 backpacks
Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus
Lead and Project Leader: Anna Shafer, PA-C
Donated: 12 backpacks
Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands
Lead: Stephanie McGee, PA-C
Co-project Leaders: Alaina Dozar, NP and Jill Goeltz, PA-C
Donated: 28 backpacks