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 DHS News September 2013     

Donations Start the School Year Right

Generous donations to DHS means that hundreds of children served by DHS are starting the 2013-14 school  year with everything from backpacks to calculators to new shoes.

For the second year in a row, CentiMark, an international commercial roofing and flooring company based in Canonsburg, has donated backpacks and supplies to children in grades kindergarten through 12. Three hundred children involved with Children, Youth and Families (CYF), who live with their birth families, received the age-appropriate backpacks. The company also donated a $100 Target gift card and $50 Famous Footwear gift card to each of the children.

Additionally, Centimark included 54 backpacks and supplies appropriate for preschoolers and donated them, so some of our Headstart-involved preschoolers are well-equipped as they begin their programs. CentiMark has donated more than 850 backpacks and packs of supplies to children served by DHS over the past two years.  It has also given thousands of dollars in gift cards.

DHS Director Marc Cherna thanked CentiMark Chairman and CEO Edward B. Dunlap in a letter, noting that while having proper clothing and supplies for children are vital to a good start in education, “for many families it is a daunting and sometimes insurmountable financial challenge. The support that the Department of Human Services receives from the private sector has been crucial to our ability to build a safety net for our residents in need, most especially for our children. Thank you for so readily joining us in this effort.”

In the same generous spirit, the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) gave about 300 backpacks filled with supplies to DHS, which staffers at Children, Youth and Families offices distributed to children in foster care. HCEF partners with Citizens Bank in a collection drive for providers who assist homeless families. Backpacks and supplies that remain after that drive are then donated by HCEF to foster children. HCEF has been making the donation for more than a decade.

“We are grateful to the Homeless Children’s Education Fund in their continued generosity and support of the foster children served by Allegheny County,” said Ondrea Burton, Event and Donations Manager in the Office of Community Relations.


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