HomeCherry Hill NewsCherry Hill Mall participates in back-to-school supply drive

Cherry Hill Mall participates in back-to-school supply drive

Monetary and backpack donations will be accepted through Sept. 6

The Center for Family Services’ Project Backpack has collected around 3,000 bags annually since it began more than a decade ago. (Special to The Sun/The Sun)

Cherry Hill Mall is gearing up for the back-to-school season with its annual backpack drive in collaboration with the Center for Family Services (CFFS). 

Through Sept. 6, residents can donate new backpacks at the mall for children and families in CFFS programs both locally and throughout the state. In the past, the backpack drive has provided school bags for roughly 3,000 students. 

- Advertisement -

CFFS is a nonprofit based in Camden that provides a large number of social services, including rehabilitation centers and housing for homeless teens. It has expanded in recent years to have offices across New Jersey. It has worked with the mall for 15 years to organize the backpack drive and other initiatives.

While Sept. 6 is the drive’s last day, donations will be accepted after that.

“People can donate by either bringing the donations in directly to the mall management office or security office or by the donation bin out in the mall, in the Macy’s wing right next to our Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Lisa Wolstromer, senior marketing director for the mall. 

CFFS events coordinator Elizabeth Madden recalled how COVID hampered the  collection of other school supplies and prevented a week-long effort by volunteers to sort and distribute items. The organization now takes monetary donations, but still accepts supplies like folders and writing utensils. 

Madden emphasized that backpacks are preferred because the volunteer effort has been sidelined indefinitely.

“(Donating online) doesn’t feel the same, but it’s still wonderful,” she noted. “The  … effect is absolutely the same on our end, and we love it.”

Monetary donations enable those who directly work with kids to get a backpack specific to each child’s interests. Funds are also used for other items needed by children and families.

“Being able to walk into that classroom on the first day of school and have a nice backpack and have all the same supplies that the child or teen next to you has, that feeling of being an equal to your classmates is really special,” Madden explained.

“Whether that child has gone through something traumatic in their life or is currently going through something traumatic or they just lost a parent, we’re there to help them, meet them where they are and help them feel good about that first day of school.” 

To learn more about the Center for Family Services or donate, visit https://www.centerffs.org/get-involved/campaigns/project-backpack.



Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issues