SAN LUIS VALLEY — The beginning of a new school year is a pretty big time in any kid’s life. A new grade, a new classroom, a new teacher and, in some cases, a new school typically go with a new backpack full of new school supplies. At least, that is how it is with a number of kids. But not all. Some kids live in situations where new backpacks and supplies just are not financially possible.
As is his style, Jeremy Silva, the big hearted former ASD employee who started the Sole Searching project now in its second year providing Alamosa School District student with new shoes, he Pikes Peak United Way, just couldn’t stop thinking about those kids with old backpacks and not enough school supplies. So, as is also his style, he reached out to Cindy Aubrey, CEO of Pikes Peak United Way to see if she could do anything to help. would ask again.
Aubrey’s answer was a resounding yes. And then some.
Every year, Pikes Peak United Way, in partnership with the non-profit COSILoveYou, organizes a program called “Backpack Bash”, an inspiring collective effort involving the donation of tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours devoted to compiling 8,000 backpacks that are distributed to school-aged students throughout El Paso County.
This year, wanting to help out in a year that has been hard on everyone, Pikes Peak United Way donated not 50 but 500 backpacks to the students attending school in the SLV.
“Pikes Peak United Way and COSILove you were very happy to provide 500 backpacks filled with love and essential school supplies to the students of the San Luis Valley,” says Aubrey. “It’s always a pleasure to work with Jeremy Silva who always keeps others in mind and helps in any way he can.” people in any way he can.”
Each brand-new backpack, in different styles based upon the student’s age group, will come with an assortment of essential school supplies based upon the student’s grade level in school, including paper, notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, crayons – essential supplies that help students to start off the school year strong.
“I feel very blessed to be the vessel behind this great collaboration that’s going to bring 500 smiles to kids in need throughout our beautiful San Luis Valley,” Silva says. “I also want people to know the backpacks will be distributed discreetly and each student will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.” Silva goes on to give a special shout out to those who helped. ”I want to also thank the powerhouse couple, Jaime and Cristalray Dominguez, who quickly stepped up and agreed to be with me at the forefront of this effort. They went above and beyond the call and rented a UHaul trailer to bring pallets of backpacks back to the valley from Colorado Springs. I cannot say often enough how great they are. They are simply a blessing.”
As long as supplies last, any student attending school in the SLV can receive one of the backpacks by emailing Jeremy Silva at [email protected] and providing the name of the student, grade level, school he/she attends and home phone number. For those who don’t have email or internet, people can call Ef’s Restaurant in Alamosa at (719) 589-3008 Tuesday through Sunday from 7:30am to 1:00pm and provide the same information. Once Silva gets the information, he (or someone who helps him) will be in touch to arrange when and where the backpack will be delivered.