For Portland Public Schools students it was back to school day on Tuesday and the children at Jason Lee Elementary School received a special surprise from the Timbers. In what has become an annual tradition with Schoolhouse Supplies, the Timbers welcomed them all back to the school year with the delivery of 500 backpacks filled with school supplies.
Defender Futty Danso, Community Ambassador Scot Thompson and Timber Joey joined members of the Timbers’ front office and Schoolhouse Supplies to distribute the donated backpacks to each individual student at Jason Lee Elementary each filled with a full set of notebooks, packs of pencils and pens, erasers, rulers, glue sticks and folders.
“It’s one of those days that brings back memories of the first day of school.” Danso said. “I really appreciate what the team is doing, not all kids have school supplies or can afford school supplies so if they can get them from somebody else I feel like that can make a [difference] throughout the school year.”
The delivery of the backpacks was the conclusion of a two-part process that started on August 19, when Timbers staff went to Schoolhouse Supplies to personally stuff each backpack as part of Schoolhouse Supplies’ Tools for Schools program.
“Schoolhouse Supplies plays a vital role in ensuring that kids are prepared to start the school year.” Timbers Sr. Manager of Community Relations Christa Thoeresz said. “Their Tools for Schools program levels the educational playing field by ensuring that every child in a high-need school has the tools to learn and achieve.”
Schoolhouse Supplies has been serving Portland Public Schools since 1999 and operate Oregon’s only volunteer-run free store to provide teachers with classroom supplies for needy schools. For the past several years, the Timbers have worked closely with Schoolhouse Supplies to be able to contribute to Northeast Portland’s Jason Lee Elementary at the start of each school year.
“We are thrilled to be part of such an important program.” Thoeresz said. “And we appreciate our close relationship with Jason Lee Elementary and their wonderful students, faculty, and staff.”
Jason Lee students showed their excitement in receiving the backpacks once again from the Timbers, as Timber Joey and Thompson led the student body in a Timbers chant to help kickoff the school year.
“Yeah it was loud and it is still beeping in my ears a little bit.” Danso said. “I’m just happy to see the kids so excited on their first day of school.”
Jason Lee was not the only school to benefit from the Timbers’ partnership with Schoolhouse Supplies during the first week of school. The Timbers joined Cook Security Group, who is in their fourth year of working with Schoolhouse Supplies, to distribute over 400 backpacks to students at Humboldt Elementary School as well.
Thompson and fellow community ambassador Mick Hoban represented the Timbers on the second day of their school supply distribution.
“The event illustrated how two or three partners can come together to make a difference in the lives of children.” Hoban said. “It clearly reminded all of us that our schools are in need of resources, volunteers, moral support, and finally, it gave brief insight into how teachers, volunteers and parents work, without great fanfare, in challenging circumstances.”
In this week alone the Timbers, Schoolhouse Supplies and Cook Security Group have worked together to provide nearly 1,000 elementary students with complimentary school supplies to help them learn and achieve this year.
“The kids are our future.” Hoban said. “We should all be proud to be associated with a club that proudly supports schools and education in our community.”
The events this week and Schoolhouse Supplies have shown how just a little bit of effort can go a long way in supporting the young students in our community.
“It’s important that kids feel people besides their teachers and parents are looking out for them and want them to succeed in life.” Thompson said. “I’m thankful that the teachers allowed us to stop by and say hello and for the students for being so welcoming.”