Avalon Thanks Community for Back-to-School Donations

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Omega Psi Phi members Dalton Hargrove (left) and Stanely Payne (right) with Avalon’s Director of Development, Bridget Casey (middle). (Courtesy Avalon)
Omega Psi Phi members Dalton Hargrove (left) and Stanely Payne (right) with Avalon’s Director of Development, Bridget Casey (middle). (Courtesy Avalon)

Avalon is one step closer to making sure no child in the Historic Triangle has to go back to school unprepared.

The local organization dedicated to helping women and children escape domestic abuse recently put out the call for school supplies to stock “back-to-school” backpacks for children who are served by the center.

A news release announced the center was pleased to report the call to action was a huge success, with donations pouring in from several area businesses, organizations and individuals.

Pediatric Dental Specialists of Williamsburg and Omega Psi Phi Inc., a local post-collegiate fraternity, led the charge with internal drives and donations that amounted to more than 20 backpacks full of school supplies.

An anonymous donor also provided the center with a $1,800 grant for school supplies.

Many of the backpacks of supplies were distributed at a Labor Day cookout hosted by the staff at Avalon, at which 10 children currently living at the center were provided with age-appropriate supplies including notebooks, folders, pens and pencils, crayons and markers, glue sticks, tissues, hand sanitizer and lunch boxes.

Additionally, about nine children who belong to Avalon’s outreach program or live in off-site transitional housing were also provided with backpacks and supplies.

Not only were the donations received enough to outfit all of the children served by Avalon currently in need, but a considerable amount of supplies were left over and can be used to meet future needs as new children come into the center over the course of the school year.

“We have more school supplies stored up than we have had in a long time,” said Bridge Casey, director of development for Avalon. “We feel so lucky that this community is so supportive.”

With a hearty stock of school supplies built up, the center is now turning its eye toward emergency preparedness supplies, which may come in handy if the area experiences bad weather this hurricane season or power outages during snowstorms this winter.

Essential emergency supplies include flashlights, radios, can openers, paper towels, paper plates, disposable utensils and matches. These types of supplies are “always needed” at the center, according to Casey.

Interested parties can arrange to make a donation to Avalon by contacting Bridget Casey at 757-258-5544 or bridget@avaloncenter.org.