Before the start of the school year, the Sagaponack organization Supplies for Success announced it had donated 20,000 backpacks filled with new school supplies to local children whose families cannot afford them.
Since Mindy Richardson established the organization in 2002, Supplies for Success has helped 135,000 underserved local children. And since March 5, 2020, when Ms. Richardson's son Eric died in a ski accident, the organization has responded to the pandemic in his honor.
Usually the charity raises money all year and, in a typical summer, hundreds would come together at volunteer events to assemble the backpacks and then distribute them to community partners like the Retreat and East Hampton schools.
Supplies for Success had to think outside the box to make it all happen during the pandemic. After recruiting individuals and teams online, the organization arranged 42 at-home assembly events. Many young mothers who were already hosting at-home camps for their children helped by donating and hosting the events.
Once filled, the backpacks were shipped from their Suffolk County supplier's warehouse, to keep its workers employed, directly to the schools, shelters, and organizations who partner with Supplies for Success.
In addition to the backpacks, since late March, 15,000 care kits filled with art supplies and more have been donated to the children of frontline care workers, as well as disadvantaged children, through hospitals like Northwell Health and the food bank Island Harvest.