With a little help from her grandparents, Lois and Harold Pellow, 16-year-old Ali Stoner, collected 180 bags packed with new school supplies and donated them to local non-profit agency Project Self-Sufficiency. Stoner solicited the help of her fellow athletes at High Point and the effort blossomed, eventually pulling in binders, pencils, paper, notebooks, and other essentials. The items were stashed in decorative drawstring bags and made available to Project Self-Sufficiency for distribution to low-income students during August.
Retired educator Lois Pellow is a longtime Project Self-Sufficiency supporter and a member of the agency’s Leadership Council. “Every child deserves to start the year with new school supplies and so many kids are hurting right now,” commented Pellow.
Stoner, who has known about the needs of Project Self-Sufficiency families for many years thanks to her grandmother, was enthusiastic about the prospect of gathering supplies for local children. “I loved seeing how you could help somebody by doing a project like this,” explains Stoner. “It only takes a small bit of time but will have such a positive effect on these children’s lives in such a long-lasting way.”
Hundreds of children will receive new backpacks and school supplies from Project Self-Sufficiency this year. “There is an unprecedented need for school supplies this year, since many schools are working on a hybrid model of remote and in-home learning, which means that students need twice as many supplies,” commented Project Self-Sufficiency Executive Director Deborah Berry-Toon. “We are very grateful to Ali Stoner and her generous grandparents, Lois and Harold Pellow, for their thoughtfulness during this uncertain time for many families.”
Project Self-Sufficiency is a community-based non-profit organization which specializes in services for low-income families in northwestern New Jersey. Programs offered at Project Self-Sufficiency include family literacy education, computer training and job placement services, assistance with parenting skills, childcare, counseling and advocacy, referrals, and help with emergency basic needs. To make a donation, or for more information about the programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org or call 973-940-3500 or 844-807-3500.