Kids Can Make ‘Back to School’ Better for Kids in Need

Baltimore, MD (September 5, 2003) — Going back to school is no longer just about getting the perfect backpack or lunch box. Through a new initiative by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), it’s about giving children in need a chance to succeed.

IOCC, the humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians, is offering children in the United States the opportunity to assemble and send school-supply kits to disadvantaged children around the world – just in time for the new school year.

“A pencil and paper are a student’s tools. Without them, it’s hard to do well in school. With them, students can excel in their studies, which gives them the prospect of a brighter future,” said IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou.

Each school kit contains, among other things, a 30-centimeter ruler, six new pencils, a pair of blunt scissors, a large eraser, a box of crayons, and notebooks of ruled paper.

The school kit project is made possible through a special arrangement with IOCC’s partner, Church World Service, and its “Gift of the Heart” program, and the active involvement of Orthodox children across the country.

Participating children purchase the supplies and assemble the kits themselves, and send them to Church World Service, which has agreed to handle the processing, packaging and warehousing required for international shipments of humanitarian assistance.

IOCC will distribute the kits to children served through its program overseas. A shipment of more than 18,000 school kits is already destined for school children in Lebanon and the Republic of Georgia. The partnership with Church World Service significantly reduces the overhead costs of the overseas shipments – allowing IOCC to help even more children.

Providing students with necessary school supplies is just one way that IOCC helps children and young people around the world – through programs of dental hygiene, counseling, vocational training, good nutrition, and computer literacy.

Kits will be accepted on an ongoing basis, but the earlier the kits are contributed, the faster they can be shipped to children who need them.