School supply drive for foster children launched

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Community First Federal Credit Union is partnering with Harvest House in their Annual School Supply Drive to benefit Guam’s foster children and the drive is coming just in time for the upcoming school year.

Harvest House is a faith-based non-profit organization with a mission to care for foster children and meet the needs of foster families in Guam.

Their back-to-school drive will assist foster children with classroom essentials in preparation for the upcoming school year.

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Bethany Taylor, Harvest House executive director, went on air with Newstalk K57’s Pauly Suba and says that currently, there are 500 children in Guam’s foster care system. She said this year’s back-to-school drive is a big deal for families, especially those who have and are still going through the financial impact of the pandemic

“Just this year, since January, I would say we’ve taken in almost 80 foster children. The pandemic hit Guam hard and some families are still really going through it. We’ve always made it our life mission to help foster children regardless of the numbers. Think about a child that has really come from poverty, a life of abuse, abandonment and neglect. They’re not going to have the nicest backpack or maybe not have a backpack or school supplies when they enter the school system on a regular basis,” Taylor said.

She added: “We really want them to be successful going into a school year and when a child is clothed with dignity and they’re coming in with a backpack and prepared for a school year, you see a big difference, even in their character, their confidence.”

Derek Mandell, CFFCU marketing manager, said their company has been partnering with Harvest House since 2018.

“The first time we partnered with them, we did the actual school supply drive and the second time, I believe it was for the clothing drive and now we’re back again with the school supplies. They’re a great organization to team up with and we’re happy to contribute,” he said.

He added: “You don’t have to have an account at Community First to donate at the drop-off. We’re located throughout the island, at multiple places and if people wanted to donate at Harvest House but can’t make it to Barrigada, we’re making it more convenient for people who wish to donate and for people who never thought of donating, they got to think about it now.”

The school supply drive began on Wednesday, June 30th and will end on Wednesday, July 14th.

Donations can be dropped off at any Community First member service center in Hagåtña, Tamuning, Dededo, and Mangilao.

For more information and hours to drop off donations, contact Harvest House or any Community First Member Center on their websites and social media handles.

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