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United Way Helps 100 Stamford Students Get Ready To Go Back To School

Nicole Granskog and Tessi Ruggeri of the United Way of Western Connecticut hold up school supplies donated to children in need on Tuesday.
Nicole Granskog and Tessi Ruggeri of the United Way of Western Connecticut hold up school supplies donated to children in need on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — More than 100 students at two Stamford elementary schools will start school in September with new school supplies and clothing donated by employees at 20 local companies.

The items go a long way toward making sure that those students feel ready and prepared for school, according to United Way of Western Connecticut Community Impact Coordinator Nicole Granskog.

“They start off the school year happier, more confident and ready to learn,” Granskog told Daily Voice.

On Tuesday, United Way collected donations from employees and companies at Westover Elementary School. The donations will benefit children from low-income families — including those in the ALICE population .

Employees shop for specific children based on a student profile sheet filled out by each student’s parents. This sheet includes specific sizes and various preferences — favorite color, favorite character, for example — for each child so that company employees know exactly what to shop for.

This customization goes a long way in making each child feel special. “They know that somebody shopped for them specifically,” Granskog said.

And, just in case an item doesn’t fit a child’s needs, the United Way asks that each company provide gift receipts with the donations. “They have the option to exchange it and find something that they like,” she said.

The items will help a combined total of 111 students at Hart and Westover schools. Each will receive two new school outfits, a pair of sneakers, a winter coat, and grade-appropriate school supplies to start the school year.

The approximate value of sponsoring one child is $250. Close to $27,750 worth of school supplies and clothing will be donated this year, according to the United Way.

United Way works with different Stamford elementary schools each year to identify children from low-income families who are in need of assistance.

The organization previously held back-to-school drives in Danbury and New Milford.

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