Homeless Non-Profit Organization Starts School Supply Drive for Local Students

Max Rodriguez

A local non-profit organization is asking for the community’s help to collect school supplies for kids whose parents may not be able to afford the classroom essentials for this coming school year.

The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission is a refuge for the homeless population in the desert, but for years, the organization has been collecting school supplies for local students during their “Backpack Bonanza Giveaway”.

The CVRM Men’s Program Manager, Joshua Howitt said he has helped with the drive in past years. He said his favorite moment is getting to see the reaction from children when they see the supplies available for them that the organization gathered.

“They get to come in one at a time with their brothers and sisters, everybody gets a chance, there’s always enough we’re truly blesses,” Howitt said. “They get to come in and see the smiles on the children’s faces and the joy that the parents get seeing their children happy, it is more than enough for me personally.” 

He said the desert community can help the initiative by donating backpacks, crayons, folders, and other classroom supplies a child may need.

“It encourages them to move forward,” Howitt said. “It gives them joy that they have what they need and gives them a good chance to be able to complete their school work.”

Donations may be dropped off at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission location on Van Buren Street in Indio or at one of their drop-off sites located around the desert. A few of those locations are the Indio Senior Center, Boy and Girls Club in Palm Desert and the Mary Pickford Theater.

The complete list of drop-off locations can be found here.

The CVRM staff will hand-out the donations to the children on August 11. From experience, Howitt said he expects a line out the door but he said it is one of the most gratifying days for the non-profit’s mission.

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