Pack a Sack Back-to-School Supplies Distribution Day has arrived! OCH Foundation will give over 100 backpacks Sunday August 19 in Lowertown

OCH Foundation has packed backpacks for kids – of all ages & in all grade levels – living in OCH.

August 17, 2018, Ottawa – Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, in collaboration with an amazing roster of community partners, are welcoming media for an afternoon of fun and celebration.

In Ottawa, 1 in 5 children lives in poverty. According to a report published by the Canadian Teacher’s Federation, students from low-income families face more barriers in their education than their counterparts from other income classes. They are less motivated to learn, less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities and are more at risk of illiteracy. They are also less likely to attend university and have higher drop-out rates and lower career aspirations. Pack a Sack! program helps break that cycle.

The OCH Foundation, alongside local Staples, Scotiabank and Bridgehead, has been working to raise money to fill backpacks with school supplies for the last year. Funds collected have purchased everything from markers for the aspiring artist, pencils for the intrepid writer, calculators for future physicists and much more. All supplies are packed into brand new backpacks and distributed amongst children living in OCH communities through the network of Community Houses. Since its inception in 2014, the campaign has raised nearly $90,000 and outfitted more than 2,000 children with backpacks. OCH Foundation is expecting to distribute an additional 1,000 backpacks this year alone.

Children living in low-income communities are often put at a disadvantage when it comes to the socio-economic barriers they face,” said Howard Whittaker, the OCH Foundation’s Executive Director. “Pack a Sack helps level the playing field by reducing the financial stress for families in OCH communities when they’re getting their children ready to go back to school. It’s another step toward our goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.

WHEN:       Sunday, August 19, 2018 – 12:30– 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:    Lowertown Community House – 145 Beausoleil Drive

WHAT:       Community BBQ event where over a hundred backpacks full of school supplies will be distributed to families in need in lower town by OCH Foundation, Cuts for Kids and Hair Fellas will be offering free haircuts to kids 17 and younger, NIKE will be holding a friendly basketball tournament and BBQ will be served to participants by Bâton Rouge.

WHO:         Partners include OCH Foundation, Ottawa Community Housing, Cuts for Kids, Hair Fellas Barbershop, Lowertown community Resources Centre, Caring and Sharing Exchange, Bâton Rouge Steakhouse and Bar, Nike, St.John Ambulance, Staples, Scotiabank, RBC Royal Bank and Bridgehead.

PHOTO-OP:  Media are welcome to attend this event. A Pack a Sack recipient family will be available for interviews. The best time to attend is between 1 and 1:30 p.m.

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ABOUT OCH Foundation for Healthy Communities: Committed to helping tenants living in social housing, the OCH Foundation helps families, youth, children and seniors achieve personal success through supporting education, employment and community engagement projects. The Foundation has raised over 1 million dollars in 2017, which were redistributed through various programs and bursaries.

About OCH: Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) provides approximately 15,000 homes to over 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCH houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCH is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio, and is the second largest in Ontario.

For more information, please contact:
Scott Fowler: Campaign and Communications Coordinator / OCH Foundation for Healthy Communities
613-407-1569

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