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9/23/2013 9:21:00 AM
Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano eases burden of back to school
Catholic Charities photo
Children receive school supplies from Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities photo
Children receive school supplies from Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano held a back to school celebration at its offices in Gresham this month with a giveaway of school bag essentials.   

The annual event began in 2004 and this year saw more than 300 bags of supplies given away. Items in the bags included notebooks, markers, colored pencils, and calculators. Bags were graded according to the age of the children receiving them. More than 150 families received supplies at the event. Twelve staff members spent the whole day prior packing and checking the bags and the shopping for supplies took three weeks to complete. The contents were purchased using a grant from the Brady Fund.

After they‚ collected their supplies, families enjoyed a barbecue provided by volunteers from the Knights of Columbus as well as music, games and a raffle. The Knights also gave a $500 donation towards the cost of the school supplies.

"We are proud of our long history of helping Latino families in need by providing free school supplies to children," said Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano's School-Based Services Program Manager, Alison Dunfee. "It's one of the many ways we support Latino youth in achieving their educational dreams."

El Programa Hispano offers educational support to Latino students in the Portland metro area through a range of summer schools and programs throughout the academic year.

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