The new school year has just started and with it comes a need for new supplies. Unfortunately, not all families can afford the supply costs on their own.
In order to help, parents and students from the Severna Park community gathered on August 18 at Chartwell Golf and Country Club for the fifth annual Backpack Buddy School Supply Drive.
Organized by Chartwell Young Leaders (CYL) founder and director Marci Flynn, with assistance from the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, Chartwell’s drive helped 52 children in need at Broadneck Elementary, up from last year’s 45.
Flynn began CYL, and subsequently the drive, after she realized that Chartwell’s membership consisted of more than 500 kids ages 9 to 18 – “enough for our own elementary school,” she joked during her speech at this year’s event.
As in previous years, the event found families from Chartwell, Benfield Elementary and Oak Hill Elementary working together to collect and organize school supplies, write encouraging notes to the kids receiving the supplies, and deliver the supplies to Broadneck. Chartwell’s drive acts like a free store. Each family is provided with a school supply list for an anonymous student and then they go “shopping” across four tables for all of the necessary supplies. Lastly, they check out at a “quality control” table to ensure they have gathered the right materials.
According to Flynn, more than 150 people donated over $4,000 worth of backpacks and school supplies, as well as volunteered their time to assemble each bag. In addition, CYL, Benfield Elementary PTA, and Oak Hill Elementary PTO earned a total of 40 Disney World Park Hopper passes, valued at over $6,000, through Disney’s Points of Light Family Volunteer campaign.
Chartwell has a long history of charitable events. Previously, the community has raised money and other goods for Anne Arundel Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore, and Rise Against Hunger.