White Buffalo Youth Lodge Makes Back to School Better for Saskatoon Families
COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone this year. With many businesses forced to close or cut back, some families have been struggling to ensure they have everything they need. Back to school costs add up quickly, and without a steady income it is another stressor for parents already stretched.
White Buffalo Youth Lodge and the Saskatoon Tribal Council hold their Back to School Backpack Giveaway annually, supplying children in need with backpacks loaded with the school supplies they need to start the year off right. And this year, perhaps more than most, was the giveaway so vital.
“It’s our priority to give the children and youth a sense of community and to continue to support them in their educational needs, especially during the pandemic and state of emergency,” says Chief Mark Arcand, Saskatoon Tribal Council.
Normally, the giveaway is accompanied by a carnival complete with food and plenty of fun activities for the kids to enjoy. Sponsors are usually encouraged to attend and see the little faces that will benefit from their generosity. However, this September, 30 volunteers carefully packed the bags at White Buffalo Youth Lodge with school supplies that this year included masks and hand sanitizer. Backpacks were safely delivered to students in time for school to start. This year, the giveaway handed out 1,600 backpacks to children across Saskatoon.
“The annual backpack giveaway was and continues to be an integral support for families from all backgrounds within the inner city and the community of Saskatoon,” says Jolon Lafond, executive director at White Buffalo Youth Lodge.
White Buffalo Youth Lodge, part of Saskatoon Tribal Council, has been helping Saskatoon’s youth, families and elders for more than 20 years. Their multi-purpose centre houses programs that provide vital services and programming free of charge, including recreation, sports, nutrition, culture, health care and support services.
To learn more on how to support White Buffalo Youth Lodge and its work with Saskatoon’s children, youth and families, visit sktc.sk.ca or contact (306) 653.7676.