September approaches and, like everywhere else, the store shelves here in Medford, Oregon, are stocked with back-to-school supplies. As I watch the moms go through the aisles with kids in tow, checking off items from their shopping lists, I remember how September was always a season faced with mixed emotions – regret that summer vacation was over, blending with the excitement of a fresh start, of seeing old friends and making new ones, curiosity about the new teacher, new class room. But it was something else too, something more subtle -- it was verification that you’d accomplished something important and achieved a new status in the hierarchy of childhood. You were, well, more educated than you were last year.
It’s almost inconceivable that education could be put at risk by the price of a school uniform or a few note books and pencils. I can’t imagine telling a child of mine that she can’t go to school because you have no money to buy the required school supplies. But that’s what Iraqi refugees too often face. And, it’s a hard fact that when a child misses one or two years of school, the likelihood that they’ll ever return to school is low.
That's why we're raising money to purchase required school uniforms and supplies for 20 Iraqi refugee children. You can help give these kids a fresh start and bring them hope for their future by donating at www.collateralrepairproject.org/donate
We'll be updating our graph below on a daily basis, so check back here to see our progress, or go to our Collateral Repair Project Face Book Page.