Nonprofit organization and car donation charity Kars4Kids joined Newark Deputy Mayor Margarita Muniz yesterday to distribute backpacks and other school supplies to needy children in New Jersey's largest city. Throughout the late morning and early afternoon, hundreds of students, parents and grandparents came to John F. Kennedy Recreation Center in Newark to receive free backpacks, notebooks and pencils.
With schools starting next week, many of the parents who attended said they were beginning to worry about how they would afford the many school supplies required by teachers. "Public schools are asking for more supplies than ever before," said one mother of two. "We're poor as it is; many of us are on welfare programs. Where are we supposed to come up with that kind of money?" She said that it is organizations like Kars for Kids that give these families hope.
One elderly gentleman, Craig, who came with several grandchildren and took another backpack for one at home, agreed that the need is great. "Many of these children do not have parents who are working, for one reason or another," he said. "It is good to know that we have someone that we can depend on."
Kars4Kids volunteers staffed the event, handing out sturdy blue backpacks, spiral notebooks and pencils. For the kids who came, there were snacks and balloons. With music playing in the background, the atmosphere was upbeat. From the smallest preschoolers to the strapping high schoolers, everyone wore their new backpacks with pride.
"We work all year long to bring educational opportunities to more children," said Kars4Kids executive Robert Moscovits, who helped give out backpacks at the event. "With distributions like these, we hope to prepare as many students as possible for another successful school year." Though his job is usually focused on fundraising, he said that attending the charity events in person makes his work more meaningful.
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