The 2017-2018 school year is officially underway. We at Brighter Birthdays have been hard at work to reach our goals this year. We are so excited about what we are doing and the number of students that will receive gifts this year on their birthdays because of the tremendous generosity of volunteers and donors. This is definitely a time to celebrate. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this happen.
I like to think of this as a community project. A project that has a wide impact and makes hearts happy. A project that brings a smile to the faces of the little ones whose families struggle. Brighter Birthdays believes that we can make a difference. We strive to one day pack enough bags that every child in our community will feel celebrated on their birthday. This year we will pack 1,000 bags for the children in Rome and Floyd County schools. This includes 10 schools in the county and city school system. We had to stop calling schools because the need in these 10 schools alone called for 1,500 bags.
I began to make phone calls to research and understand the great need for our Birthday Backpacks in the Floyd County and Rome City schools. Here are some crazy facts that I was given. 46% of the city and 33% of the county students receive SNAP or TANF, are homeless, unaccompanied youth, or are in the foster system. 68% of the county students qualified for free or reduced lunch, therefore all students in our area now receive free lunches. The county schools have more than 200 students that are homeless. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. It opened my eyes to how much need there is. It made me want to strive even more to do just a little bit to brighten the birthdays for these children.
We cannot make this happen with our existing resources. We need your help. If this is something that speaks to your heart, please consider supporting us. Reach out through our website or Facebook page. We have had so many generous donations, and we are so grateful. We would love to add you to that list and have your support.