As we hit the month of August, kids are getting ready to head back to school — among them, kids who are going to a Canadian school for the first time.
For Ukrainian refugees heading to school in the fall, Baba’s Closet offers free backpacks filled with goodies.
“They will get gifts inside, gift cards, storybooks, teddy bears, supplies for school to start them with. Whatever’s not in there they can come back tomorrow and the following week and pick up the rest of the supplies at the front,” said Nettie Cherniatenski, Baba’s Closet manager.
Baba’s Closet started when the war first began, taking in donations of household items to give to refugee families arriving in Saskatchewan.
Nettie is feeling emotional about how far they’ve come. “It’s overwhelming. It’s even hard to explain how I feel in my heart; it’s tugging at my heartstrings,” said Cherniatenski.
After every family came in since they opened, Nettie wrote down their name and how many kids they had.
On Thursday, she had 300 backpacks ready to be picked up.
“They are gonna have a brand new backpack for the children, so whether they use it for school, for library books, swimming, whatever, it’s something from Baba, hopefully they appreciate it,” said Cherniatenski.
The families could come by and grab their bags starting Thursday morning at 10am.
“They’ll see what supplies are in the backpack, and tick them off and that will let them know what other things they need to add, but it’s definitely very nice for them to go back to school ready,” said Maxine Bell, Host Mother.
It’s a small gesture that is making a big impact in the community.