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Library bags for students in need

Tuesday, 4th February, 2020

Georgina Stevens with the library bags she has made for children to enjoy as they start back at school this week. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Georgina Stevens with the library bags she has made for children to enjoy as they start back at school this week. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

More than 450 library bags for local primary school students have been created in the last two years to help give children a head start for the school year.

In 2018, local mum Georgina Stevens wanted to do something to help struggling families going back to school and so she started making the bags.

Since then, Georgina, with the help of some generous locals, has made 466 library bags and 148 high school packs.

“The support has been overwhelming. Last year we had beautiful Pam Hibberd come on board in May and offered to make library bags.

“That was amazing, as I was going in to have hip surgery and I could no longer sit at my sewing machine.”

Georgina said Pam then contacted her to say she had made 60 bags and asked what would be needed to fill them.

“Last week, Pam delivered 95 library bags and five high school packs.

“So this year, we had 195 library bags to give out and 45 high school packs.

“I was blown away. I’m really grateful for Pam and her friends who have gotten together to do these.”

Georgina said she had also received a lot of support from her “family, friends and total strangers”.

“I’m so proud to be in this community and you can tell they really love the children here.

“The support they have provided is wonderful.”

The library packs will be divided between the six public schools, as well as Menindee and Wilcannia.

“We have eight boxes ready to go and two boxes for the high schools.”

Georgina started the library bag initiative to provide school essentials to children from lower socioeconomic families.

“I was one of those kids that struggled, so I know how it feels,” she said.

“I thought ‘why not go a step further and fill those bags with school supplies?’”

When asked if she would continue with it next year, Georgina said she certainly hoped to.

“My husband says no, but I know he is proud of the effort we put in.

“There has been talk of looking for a space to house all the donations for the next school year.

“At the moment it all sits in my kitchen, so it will be good to have that back.

“I have had a mum contact me to say she is happy to jump on board and wants to learn how to sew.

“If we can get a space to call our own that doesn’t involve any money, we would be happy to maintain it and just use it at the end of the year.”

Georgina thanked everyone for their support.

“I’m really happy with our efforts, we know that the kids have got something to go back to school with.

“It’s just my way of helping this community.

“I’m extremely grateful for all the support.”

To help or donate, contact Georgina on 0458 804 033, email missyg1933@yahoo.com.au or visit the Facebook page Helping Children Become Equal at School.

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