Tuesday, August 15, 2017 — Ottawa Community Housing’s Debra Dynes community welcomed the OCH Foundation on Thursday, August 10th, in support of the launch of their back to school supply drive, Pack a Sack. Over 150 individuals from the community attended the event – nearly half of which were children eager to receive their new backpacks.
Alongside local Scotiabank and Staples locations, Pack a Sack raises funds to purchase school supplies for children living in low-income communities. Supply filled backpacks are distributed to children living across Ottawa to help them get their school year started off right and equip them with the items they need to succeed in the classroom. Since 2014, the OCH foundation has distributed nearly 1,500 backpacks and has raised over $65,000.
“All kids deserve an equal opportunity to learn and to succeed in the classroom”, said Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Chair of the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation’s Board of Director. “Pack a Sack bridges the income gap at school and alleviates the pressure on low-income families to ensure their children are well equipped come back to school season.”
Several notable figures attended the outdoor event, including Hon. Yasir Naqvi MPP, City Councillor and OCH Corporation Board Chair Matthieu Fleury, Scotiabank District Vice President, Ottawa and West Quebec Frank Bilodeau, OCH CEO Stéphane Giguère, Caring and Sharing Exchange Executive Director Cindy Smith, OCH Foundation Board Chair Wayne French, and OCH Foundation Board members Anju Malhotra and Sara Lemieux.
Anju Malhotra has had the unique position of witnessing Pack a Sack grow from two sides of the initiative; she is a Director on the OCH Foundation Board and serves as Scotiabank’s Senior Manager of Corporate and Government Banking. “Pack a Sack perfectly embodies Scotiabank’s commitment to supporting our youth reach their full potential in the areas of health, well-being and education. Young people are our future leaders and it is critical to provide them with the skills and resources which they need to succeed.”
To help send a child back to school with the supplies they need to succeed, make a donation at your local Ottawa Scotiabank branch or visit Staples’ South Keys and Downtown Bank Street locations.
In the News
With a focus on education, employment and community engagement, the Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Foundation brings together community leaders to help families, seniors, and individuals achieve personal success.