SOURCE: Scotiabank

Scotiabank

August 05, 2014 08:00 ET

Pack a Sack! Initiative Helps Ottawa's Youth Show Up at School Equipped and Prepared

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - August 05, 2014) - For most families in Ottawa the end of summer means back to school shopping. However, too many parents in the city simply can't afford to equip their children with the supplies they need for the school year ahead. The Pack a Sack! initiative, delivered in Scotiabank branches across the Ottawa region, will help those families achieve educational success.

Local Scotiabank branches will accept monetary donations between August 11 and 22. Funds collected will purchase everything from markers for the aspiring artist to pencils for the intrepid writer, and much more. All supplies will be packed into brand new backpacks and distributed amongst young tenants living in Ottawa Community Housing communities across the city.

"Last year, over 2000 families living in Ottawa -- many of whom are living in OCH communities -- requested support to purchase school supplies for their children," says Wendy Mitchell, Executive Director at the Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Foundation. "A backpack filled with essential items can significantly help our younger tenants get the most of their educational experience, which ultimately translates into them achieving personal success."

The fundraising goal is $15,000 and if reached, Scotiabank will match to double the funds available to purchase supplies for this initiative.

"Ensuring our youth have the educational tools they need to succeed in school is critical and it benefits our broader community," says Frank Bilodeau, Scotiabank's District Vice President for the Ottawa and West Quebec District. "Scotiabank is thrilled to support the Pack a Sack! initiative through Bright Future, our global philanthropic program, to help Ottawa's youth start the school year off right."

The OCH Foundation is proud to partner with the Caring and Sharing Exchange and the Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses to organize this initiative. Both groups are essential to the project, with the Caring and Sharing Exchange having already successfully completed countless similar projects, they will be crucial to the distribution process. They have a co-ordination service, which verifies the names of clients registered by hundreds of local agencies, to eliminate duplicate applications and redistribute funds accordingly to help more families.

The Coalition of Community Houses will be of equal importance to the campaign. Being that all 15 Community Houses are located directly within Ottawa Community Housing neighbourhoods, they will serve as a direct connection to those who are the most in need of help. 

"The Caring and Sharing Exchange prides itself in keeping children happy, motivated and able to reach their full potential," says Cindy Smith, the organization's Executive Director. "It only made sense that we lend our services to this great cause."

Watch for updates on the Pack a Sack! campaign on Twitter @OCH_Foundation.

About the organizers:

The Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Foundation goes beyond the walls and windows, bricks and mortar of the 15,000 Ottawa Community Housing units in this city. We support the people -- the 32,000 tenants -- living in OCH communities as they strive to achieve personal success.

The Ottawa Coalition of Community Houses is a network of agencies working together to support and serve low income families across the city of Ottawa. All 15 Community Houses are located directly within Ottawa Community Housing neighbourhoods and offer individuals and families many educational, recreational and social support services and programs at no cost.

The Caring and Sharing Exchange is a local charity that provides assistance to individuals and families in need, during the Christmas and back-to-school seasons. Its Co-ordination Service verifies the names of clients registered by hundreds of local agencies in order to eliminate duplicate applications and redistribute funds accordingly to help more families.

Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada's most international bank. Through Bright Future, our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank and its employees support causes at a grassroots level across six pillars: health, education, social services, arts and culture, environment and sports. Recognized as a leader for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has contributed on average some $50 million annually over the last five years to community causes around the world. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

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