College/Back to School
Back to School Fair returns for fourth year
In 1998 when representatives of the Winnebago County Human
Services Department and the Winnebago Interfaith Needs Response
(WINR) developed the first Back to School Fair, it provided
assistance to 200 needy children. This year the Fair's organizers
are shooting to provide services for at least 400 children in the
Twin Cities area.
The 2001 Back to School Fair will be held in the Allen Family
Center at St. Gabriel Parish, 900 Geiger Street in Neenah, from
3-7 pm on Aug. 15. A similar fair will be held the next day in
Oshkosh. Overall about 800 needy children are expected to be
served in Winnebago County at the two events. Pre-screening is
being done by various area referral agencies.
The intent of the Back to School Fair is to provide each child
attending with a backpack, school supplies, vouchers for clothing
and shoes, any required immunizations, and hygiene and grooming
products. In addition, information on resources available to
families through various community agencies will also be
displayed and available during the fair. Volunteers from numerous
organizations, churches, and businesses either help staff the
event or provide products used at the Fair.
According to Dave Ebben, St. Gabriel's WINR liaison, cash
donations are also needed to help meet the demand on
school-related needs for children in the Neenah-Menasha area.
Donations can be sent to WINR, c/o Winnebago County Human
Services, 211 N. Commercial St., Neenah WI 54956, Attn: Kay
Buser-Belot. According to Ebben, "This year the need is just too
great. Rather than having a waiting list, we have decided to
increase the number and help as many people as we can. We are
trying to help the neediest."
WINR is comprised of a consortium of churches throughout
Winnebago County. The Back to School Fair committee includes
representatives from Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha, Career Pros,
Inc., Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Lutheran
Brotherhood, the Neenah-Menasha Chapter of the American Red
Cross, Winnebago County Department of Human Services, and WINR.