College/Back to School
Program helps students in need
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
Shopping for new school supplies is an exciting task for most
children. They search store aisles looking for pencils,
notebooks, folders, crayons and perhaps the perfect new outfit to
wear on the first day. Thanks to the Service League of Green Bay
with the support of several parishes from the Green Bay Diocese,
850 more children will enjoy the school shopping experience.
The Service League of Green Bay's Back to School Store provides
children of low income families the opportunity to go "Back to
School" shopping at no cost. At this one-day event, scheduled
this year for Aug. 15 at Fort Howard School, Green Bay, children,
accompanied by a volunteer shopper, receive a new set of clothing
including shoes, socks, underwear, shirt and pants. They also
select school supplies, a backpack and grooming items. Volunteer
hairstylists provide free haircuts for those who would like them.
All items are provided by local businesses, individual donors,
church groups and service clubs. Diocesan parishes participating
in the 2001 Back to School Store program include St. Elizabeth
Ann Seton, St. Matthew, Resurrection, St. Mary of the Angels, St.
Willebrord, St. Patrick, Nativity, Holy Martyrs of Gorcum, St.
John the Evangelist, St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and St.
Bernard, all of Green Bay; St. Joseph, Oneida; St. John the
Baptist, Howard; Holy Cross, Bay Settlement; St. Joseph at St.
Norbert College, De Pere; and Our Lady of Lourdes, De Pere.
"It's fun for all the kids to be able to pick out what they need
for school," said Bonnie Goelz, organizer of the Back To School
Store collection at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. "Having that
new outfit makes them feel special on the first day."
Goelz and parish volunteers created a giving board to encourage
parish members to donate items.
"We asked people to take a tag with a specific item listed on
it," explained Goelz "The response was excellent. We were able to
fill all 400 tags."
One member gave a $100 anonymous donation, said Goelz. Monetary
donations were applied to purchasing items to fill tags.
"We also had one individual who gave tops that she had
embroidered, which I thought was a nice personal touch," said
The Back to School Store began in 1993, and has grown each year
to serve more children. The first store served 200 children.
Every school district within Brown County refers children to the
Back to School Store. The program serves the area's diverse
population. Last year, more than 225 child shoppers came from
families where English was not the primary language.
"There is such a need," said Goelz. "The program has grown to
meet the increasing need. It is rewarding to see the kids' faces
light up when they shop."
For more information on the Back to School Store, call